An Old Testament Christmas? From the Book of Esther? Don’t judge me as if I’m nutty as a holiday fruitcake! Maybe there’s something to ponder from this first Testament. Think so? After all, none of us is totally comfortable with the Christmas celebration as it’s become. Are we?
Too much commercialism. Too much stuff. Too many hurt feelings from the past. Some gifts that seem more like a slam than a present. What to give someone who needs nothing more. Crowds and bills pile up. Wouldn’t you rather go to sleep today and wake up January 2nd? Excuse me, I’m about to nod off!
Nevertheless, it’s time to celebrate! Jesus is born! Messiah comes! Promises made and kept…by God! All our sins handled by the Master–all forgiven. All believers given new life. All because of Jesus, born to Mary. All the love in the universe, wrapped up in swaddling clothes, lying in Bethlehem’s manger.
Celebrate! As God’s people do in the Book of Esther. Here’s a story of a saved people. Their common enemy destroyed. A people pulled from the brink of annihilation. What then? Read Esther 9.
Of course, celebrate! Esther 9 says that every year on two days they will remember when their sorrow turns to joy, their mourning to exaltation. And what more? Gifts are given–‘…a day of joy and feasting, a day of giving presents to each other’ (v.19), and ‘…as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor’ (v.22). There it is–an Old Testament Christmas!
This year I’m not harboring any regrets over Christmas. None. Forget it. Wasted energy. We’re giving to each other along with gifts to help others have a better life, especially to know Jesus, the reason for it all.
What’s to feel guilty about when we’re ‘painting the town red’ for Jesus? For the babe of Bethlehem! Our Messiah!
Join me? Why not? Celebrate!
Thank you, Lord, for the joys of knowing Jesus. Amen.