Oh, I understand where you’re going with it, I say to my three neighbors who have Christmas lights in the shape of a cross on their houses.
If this is your holiday (as it is mine), you realize that with the birth of a baby in a manger…or, arguably, with the annunciation, that the walk to the cross has begun.
What we await is the light.
John has a testimony (1:4-5): “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Luke (2:32) speaks of Jesus as a light (beautiful language from the King James Bible): “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.“
Even Acts, as in the acts of an early church, uses light in talking about the crucifixion (Acts 26:23): “…that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.”
Behold, the star. “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.” (KJB)
This is the reason for lyrics to songs like “The First Nowell.”
They looked up and saw a star,
Shining in the east, beyond them far:
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.
This is, to me, the problem with most non-denominational churches’ move from a liturgical calendar. Without the pacing, without acknowledging the process from prophecy to fulfillment, you mix your history, not to mention your symbolism.
Will this baby boy eventually die on a cross, convicted by your sins? Yes. But not today. Not on this silent night.
You may be battling against the commercialism. You may be proclaiming your salvation, but this season – no matter your method of celebration or theology – is about the hope brought to mankind through the birth of a baby.
A simple baby. A simple star. The cross is complex, but this scene brings peace. Let it be.