Christmas in July is really a thing…
It turns out that there are lots of reasons and motivations to celebrate Christmas in July (I got these from Wikipedia… where else?)
- People in the southern hemisphere, whose Christmas season comes smack dab in the middle of their summer, celebrate Christmas in July to experience the ‘winter’ character for which Christmas is so beloved all over the world (snow, sleigh rides, fires in the hearth, Christmas sweaters, etc.)
- People in the northern hemisphere who like the idea of throwing a Christmas party to break-up the long, hot summer.
- The Hallmark Channel (of course) uses the opportunity to showcase its full line of original Christmas television movies… and market some of its Christmas keepsakes in stores
- QVC kicks-off its sales of holiday décor and gift ideas during this month-long event
Aside from the partying and the marketing, there should be a more meaningful reason to showcase Christmas in July… and the church is just the right place (and just the right people) to do this: celebrate a Merry Christmas on the opposite side of the calendar.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5; 14 NRSV)
Christmas is when we celebrate God’s tangible love for all humankind in the coming of the Son of God, Savior, and Messiah, Jesus. But, it’s NOT the type of celebration that needs to be restricted to a holiday, or a season.
THIS is the greatest of God’s promises! This is the most incredible fulfillment! God took on human form, human flesh, human life in order to shine a light into our darkness and to show us magnificent grace and truth. This is worthy of celebration any time, every time, and all the time!
The birth of Jesus took place in the humblest of ways (in a stable yard), in the humblest of places (an oppressed nation) to the humblest of people (a teenager and her carpenter fiancé), and was declared first to the humblest of audiences (shepherds).
Why? Because most of us, most of the time, are living humble lives, with humble means, and… if we are honest… with humble results. Our God, Messiah, and Savior wants us to know that: God so loved the world that God gave is only Son that whosoever should believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). The declaration ‘God with us’ (Emmanuel), that we celebrate at Christmas, means that God has chosen to be WITH US, God has chosen to SAVE US, and that God has chosen ETERNAL LIFE FOR US. This is Good News for the poor and humble… this is Good News for the rich and powerful… this is Good News for everyone in between… any time, every time, and all the time.
The promise of Messiah. Merry Christmas.