Merry Christmas from Israel!
It's rather strange to be writing that. It's rather more strange to be celebrating Christmas so close to where the Messiah was born.
This year doesn't feel so Christmasy. I have no Christmas decorations even though I kept telling myself all month that I was going to put up something. But in the end I did't. Call me lazy or call me cheap. I'ts probably a little bit of both.
However, even though I have not decked my house with boughs of holly or anything else for that matter, it is still Christmas. It may not feel like Christmas in the way we usually think of it. There isn't a Christmas tree. There are no gifts. It feels almost like another day around here.
Yet it is Christmas and Christmas isn't all about the tree or the decorations or the gifts all wrapped up. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ, who came to earth as a humble baby, lived on earth a humble life, died a horrible death, and rose victorious, so you and I might have everlasting life. Christmas isn't about the Christmasy things we do or have, Christmas is about Christ.
We will still have fun this year. We will still eat yummy food and drink cozy drinks. We will have friends to spend the evening with even if not with our family. We will celebrate. But we will also remember Jesus' birth, only a few miles away from where we live.
We are each other's gift. And Christ is the greatest gift of all.