We are on a Christmas decorating binge here on campus. We figure that Christmas is our holiday, so we should absolutely celebrate it to the utmost. I've scrounged my house and bought out Walgreens, but the learning center is decorated with a tree, my Christmas village, and strings of extra lights. My office sports a little tree, and my bookcases and door are adorned with lighted garlands. The candle warmer has a Christmas-smelling candle perfuming the air, and Christmas music is on my iPod.
It's good to remember that in the midst of budget cuts, finals, and deadlines, Christ should still be pre-eminent in our thinking. A student came to me yesterday to ask my thoughts on John 1:1-5. This was a bit of a surprise, since I am the English prof. and not one of the great theological minds around here. Fortunately, I've been studying the book of John so I had some thoughts to share with him.
One overwhelming thought I've had is just how difficult life was for Jesus. He epitomized the "No good deed goes unpunished" philosophy; every time he performed a miracle, critics questioned him. Most of the time they were willing to accept what Christ did, but they questioned everything else: his authority, his training, his lineage, and even his timing. I have been struck by just how bleak Christ's day-to-day life was, but yet he still chose to endure life on earth to save the very humans who constantly criticized and persecuted him.
So, as we endure minor hardships, let us not complain that our lunch prices have gone up or we have to work a little harder. What we face is trivial compared to Christ's trials, and even if our lives were smooth, they would still not compare to what awaits us.
Here's to celebrating Christ's coming!