Last week I wrote about how decorating the Christmas tree helps me remember my students; but as I think about it further, I believe that the Christmas season at school is one of the things that I miss the most since I retired. Maybe this is why I don’t feel like “getting into” Christmas nearly as much as I did when I was still teaching.
It was really special to see the excitement in all of those 30+ pairs of eyes as Christmas approached. Oh, my own two boys were equally as excited, but because that excitement radiated from only two pairs of eyes, it wasn’t quite the same. I have told and retold stories over the years of special Christmases I’ve experienced in the classroom. There have been so many that I don’t even remember anymore the stories I have and haven’t told. Take the time we made a little “Christmas” village out of recycling material. Pretty sure I’ve already told that story, but not only did my own students love the exercise, but students from other classes would stop by to express the desire to be in my class so they, too, could do fun stuff like this! Suffice is to say, those special celebrations at school, coupled with the special celebrations at home, well, it all added up to a wonderful Christmas season.
Another reason I loved the Christmas season at school is that it provided me with opportunities to speak about Jesus. In a public school, this was only allowed if a student specifically asked questions, and Christmas offered up such a glorious opportunity for the students to do just that. Take the above mentioned recycled village, for example. When one student piped in with, “Where’s the church?”, it led to a beautiful opportunity to talk about the true meaning of Christmas!
Now it is all in the past, and somehow, Christmas just doesn’t seem as exciting anymore…
But wait. Something about what I just said is very, very wrong. Just because I don’t have a classroom of 30+ students with excitement brimming over in their eyes doesn’t mean that the meaning has gone out of Christmas!
No! It is still a celebration of the greatest gift in history, the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!
It still marks the self-less gift of Himself: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV).
It still reminds of of how He gave up .. everything … to become one of us: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8 NIV)
It doesn’t really matter how many excited pairs of eyes there are in the room, the very presence of Jesus is what we can truly get excited about!
And just because I am no longer in front of a classroom full of inquisitive students doesn’t mean I don’t have ample opportunity to share the gospel! In fact, I now no longer have to worry about it being “illegal”, or losing my job as a result!
No, there is no grounds to say that Christmas is less exciting now that I no longer stand in front of a classroom…And the more I think about it, the more excited I become to shout from the rooftops, “Jesus is Lord! Jesus is the Reason for the Season! Jesus is … everything!”
There may seem to be numerous other reasons to feel less excited about Christmas this year. My wife is going through grief at facing the Christmas after her mom died at Christmas in 2020. Many of you have no jobs, no money. Some are terminally ill. Others are long separated by time, distance and emotion from once beloved family members. It doesn’t matter what the reason is behind your lack of excitement; the solution is the same! Meditate on Jesus, the REASONS for the SEASON! It won’t take long for that excitement to return!
In His love,
Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries