This is the first Lord’s Day of Advent, the year of our Lord, 2005. This is the beginning of the church year, marking annually, as we do, the beginning of our salvation in the Incarnation of the Lord Jesus in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
We are marking our days, building up to one of the great Christian holidays. This is a potent holiday, one that secularists appear to understand better than we sometimes do. They want to stamp out any vestige of the historic Christian faith in this, and their secularist jihad is not irrational. They know how powerful this story is. This being the case, let us make a point of telling the story right, and very loudly.
In the first place, do not fall for the lie that the spirit of Christmas is an ethereal kind of thing. This is the celebration of the Incarnation, when the eternal Logos of God took on a material body, which He still has. Do not, therefore, join in the general lamentations about “materialism.” This is a celebration of God taking on a material body. It is therefore a holiday that should focus on stuff.
By stuff, I mean ribbons, decorations, fudge, wreaths, cider, presents, feasting, toasts, shopping with joy, putting up a tree, sending cards, learning a Christmas piece on the piano, and more fudge.
Of course, we all know how to sin with stuff—we were living in a pretty earthy state of sin before Christ came. But He did not come to whisk us out of this world in order that we might go celebrate some kind of Gnostic holiday in heaven. We are to honor the Lord Jesus with our stuff. So do not drink too much, do not run up your credit cards, and don’t try to buy friends with presents.
But God’s answer to sin begins with the Incarnation. We do not escape from sin by denying, or trying to deny, His method for saving us. Our salvation lies in receiving, resting, accepting, and imitating. And how do we imitate? One thing we must do is use stuff.