Christmas is a time of year that brings a lot of mixed feelings for people. For many young children, it is a time of excitement, counting down the days until their wishes are fulfilled by Santa Claus. For adults, it is a time of high anxiety, with many engagements, tasks, and financial burdens surrounding the holiday. For some, it is a time to come together with family and share another year’s passing. For Christians, the celebration is of the birth of their Lord and Savior, Son of God, Jesus Christ.
As long as records date back, the Winter Solstice has been celebrated all over the Northern Hemisphere. Ancient people decorate their homes with evergreens, to celebrate the triumph of life over death, to remind them that the Sun God would return and bring back crops of green, and to ward off the evils that winter could bring, such as starvation. St. Lucia is, to this day, crowned with an evergreen wreath adorned in candles while she chases away the winter nights to bring back the sun.
My question to you is: Whom do you worship?
You may be inclined to instantly answer Jesus. I’m betting you didn’t say “The Sun God”. However, I ask you to truly think about this (you don’t have to tell anyone.) This year, I cannot celebrate the holidays with my friends and family in our traditional ways due to various circumstances. This year, I don’t find myself missing getting to open gifts or eat colorful sugar cookies. I miss the idea of waking up and cooking eggnog French toast and drinking hot cocoa with my whole family. I miss being able to have the finances to buy or craft something for someone, because I know it is something they will cherish. These things are more important to me than gifts and money. The shared love of friends and family is the reason I celebrate. I worship love.
Yet when I go to the store to pick up necessities, I see something quite the opposite being worshipped. I see children demanding gifts in large quantities as if it is a divine right. I see violence between strangers because they happen to be headed toward the same spot at the same time. I see people complaining about “having” to give gifts to so many people while purchasing gifts with less care than one might pick kindling for the fire. I see lies told to retail workers to drive down prices. I see greed.
Whom are you worshipping? How would Jesus feel knowing that so much violence ensued in reverence to the iCommodity? Would Jesus be proud to know that instead of holding the door for your brothers and sisters, you leaped your way to that spinning electric backbrush because you didn’t know what else to get Aunt Norma and it was on sale? If you really do want to worship Jesus, would the Lord not feel more pleased to see humankind sharing love?
Perhaps if you find yourself in a category other than love worship, taking some time during the holidays to worship “The Sun God” down south could help you remember what is worth worshipping. I think Jesus would be okay with that.