Christmas is an eschatological catechism class for the whole world. A few illustrations of what I mean. A friend of mine once shared the story of being in Dubai during the Christmas season, and––while in a large shopping mall––heard carol after carol: Joy to the World, Silent Night, etc. Recently, I took my kids to see the latest rendition of Dr. Seuss’ “The Grinch”. In one scene, the titular green grouch is chased through Whoville by carolers singing:
God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r
When we were gone astray
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
One more example: from factories in third-world countries, to city halls, church-yards, and front lawns across the world, Nativity scenes are manufactured, set-up, displayed, and then, of course, sued by the ACLU.
Christ’s first advent is quite inescapable. During the Christmas season, People and cultures the world over are forced to reckon with a baby born in Bethlehem two-thousand years ago. Of course, the means of reminding us of the first advent are sometimes vague, sometimes clouded over by sentimentality, often imperfect. However, we must not forget that the mere reminder of Christ’s first advent, brings up the promise of His second advent; where He will come again, with all His holy angels, to judge the living and dead.
That is why Christmas is an eschatological catechism. We are telling the world that God became a man, and that that God-man is coming again. The glad tidings which the angels declared at Bethlehem is like leaven. Centuries later, we see that leaven working its way slowly, imperceptibly at times, through all the world. We see that Stone growing into a mountain. We see that mustard seed growing into a mighty tree. This month of preparation for and celebration of Christmas is perhaps the most vibrant reminder to believers and unbelievers alike: the Kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our God, and of His Christ.
Christmas is such an opportune time to remind our neighbors, friends, families that Christ has come and is coming again. So up your game: take some cookies to the neighbors and sing a carol while you’re at it…or invite a handful of families over––including unbelieving coworkers or neighbors––and sing a few Christmas hymns, read Luke 2, and make sure the hot chocolate is on point. If you happen to own some silos, plaster a massive Merry Christmas for the whole town to see…you get the idea.