Looking out my window today the obvious signs are everywhere! Not only has December arrived, but the Christmas Season has also arrived. Both Cobourg and Port Hope Santa Claus parades have come and gone and utility crews for Cobourg have installed the lampstand Christmas decorations. The weather outside has turned somewhat frightful, but that also means we are entering one of the most wonderful times of the year.
With the arrival of Christmas, also comes the arrival of many traditions. Through the years some traditions shift and change a little. Another aspect of tradition changes comes with moves. This month marks 4 years since my arrival at UCB Radio 90.7FM in Cobourg-Port Hope. One great tradition we started as a radio station four years ago is our involvement in the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign. This year UCB Red Kettle Day is set for Thursday, December 8th. Throughout the day myself – along with others from UCB Radio 90.7FM – will man the kettle at the Independent Store on Toronto Road in Port Hope. Be sure to drop by and say hi and also support the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign too.
Through the years many traditions come and go simply as a result of passing time. As a kid we traditionally opened one Christmas present upon our return from the Christmas Eve church service. As we grew older that tradition stopped until we had kids of our own. Then we did the same thing with our kids. After Christmas Eve service, we rushed home for hot chocolate and the opening of one present. Another tradition in our household is watching movies. Instead of watching football, we spend the afternoon watching any new movies we might have found under the Christmas tree. All in all it makes for a fun and relaxing day.
One year we watched the movie The Nativity. I wasn’t sure if I would like it at first as when we’ve watched movies like this in the past, they were usually poorly done. Such is not the case with The Nativity. It is an excellent movie but I must admit one part really made me sit up and take notice. Through the years I’ve read the Christmas story many times, preached it a number of times and told people about the Christmas story of Jesus born in stable even more. Through all the telling and re-telling of the story, I never realized how long the journey to Bethlehem was for Joseph and Mary. We miss the distance as through the Christmas season everything seems telescoped and shortened. One Sunday we read about the visiting angel. Then we discover Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem from Nazareth for a census. Then the following week we read about Jesus born in a stable. What we miss is the fact that Joseph and Mary traveled about 90 miles – on foot – from Nazareth to Bethlehem. This was no short journey and for me, watching the movie The Nativity, emphasized not only the fact this was a long journey, but it was a treacherous and hard journey as well.
The journey toward that first Christmas Day when we now celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour was a hard and long journey. But in the end, it was all worth it. While Joseph and Mary had the promise of a Son who would save humankind, the journey was long and hard. What has your journey looked like through the years? Has it been a long and hard one? The Good News is, no matter how hard the journey, this is the time of year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the One who brings peace, comfort and joy to the world. In Matthew 11 Jesus declares, “Come to me and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and learn from Me, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light”. No matter where you are in your journey, He is ready to ease your journey and make your burden light.
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.