Spending a delightful day in mid-November in London, England, it was obvious that the city was preparing for Christmas. The stores, the streets, the advertisements all reminded one that “Christmas is coming.” Particularly enjoyable was a stroll through Covent Garden Market, where the decorations were all in full display. The gigantic Christmas tree was adorned in only lights and balls of all sizes. Overhead were gigantic red balls dangling from the rooftop of the market square. A hugh reindeer made of greenery was adorned with white lights.
Throughout the city the decorations were classic – large stars lit with white lights hung between the buildings on the main thoroughfares. Store displays were being dressed in Christmas colors and packages were lying in the windows all around with a gentle reminder that gifts would be needed for father, mother, aunt, son, daughter, uncle, aunt and cousin.
As a Christian, I am aware that preparation for Christmas in much of the world is a secular activity. On the web and in the mail, the announcements that Christmas is coming are in hopes that people will buy their products for Christmas gifts. Many people are simply looking forward to time off from work and the family traditions surrounding the most popular holiday of the year.
Unfortunately, few are experiencing the inner reminder that without the first Christmas, there would be no Easter. Without the coming of the Christ child, His perfect life, His substitutionary death on the cross and His resurrection, there would be no hope for eternal life. Whether or not stores, streets and homes are decorated with the intent to honor Christ, the decorations can speak for themselves, just as the Bible says that the rocks would cry out if people fail to worship God.
All of the decorations in London did, however, remind me of the first Christmas – the coming of Immanuel, God with us. The balls reminded me of a globe – our world and the planets and stars of the universe. The Christ who was born in the nativity is the One who created the universe and our world. The trees and the reindeer caused me to reflect on how He adorned our earth with plants and animals and all that is good. As I gazed at the stars hanging over the streets, I envisioned the star that led the wise men to the Christ child. The lights everywhere – in white – made me think of Jesus, the Light of the world.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…Through him all things were made…In him was life, and that life was the light of men (John 1:1, 3-4).