Christmas is an introspective time of the year by it's very nature. We look back on our lives at this time of the year, and through the lens of the holidays, the hard times we experienced seem harder the good times seemed better. Indeed, everything in our past just seems magnified. I read somewhere that you can't really appreciate the top of the mountain and its wonders unless you have spent time in the deep dark valleys of life. I think the beautiful thing about Christmas is that despite all of the marketing and materialism people are generally celebrating hope. Hope that one day they will reach their summit and rejoice. And isn't Christmas a little Summit that we all reach, enjoying the gift of ourselves to others?
In older times, when man was closer to the Earth we longed for the coming of spring and hoped that we would survive the cold dark winter. The Shadows of the mountains loomed over the valleys and the days were short. We gathered together to celebrate the light in the darkness and the knowledge that if we persevered we would see the warm spring sun upon our face. We may be detached from the Earth today when compared to days of old but we still gather together and celebrate the hope of something better, the hope of something great, the hope of something waiting for us in our future.
Christmas is a time when we celebrate the birth of the Messiah and our salvation. It's also a time when we ponder with fear, trembling and hope the coming of our savior again one day. For we all know that our life in the valley will one day yield to our rejoicing on the mountain top.