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Why I Love Christmas

I really like Christmas. I know that’s not a news flash but it never hurts to say it. Of-course, part of saying an obvious statement like that begs the question, why? For me, it celebrates my faith that God loves this world so much that God becomes one of us in the flesh.
There are other incarnation stories from the ancient faiths in Greece or Rome where gods came to earth but, they did so by putting on a human disguise with no willingness to give up their power or become vulnerable like a child. In our story God is born, and nursed and helpless like any human child. In our story this child is taught and only comes to the awareness of his divinity when he is in his late twenties or early thirties. Even then most scholars would say that it was the early church and not Jesus,Himself, that placed the name of Jesus on the same level as the creator God. Amazing – a humble God in an age when humility by those who have been given power, is so rare.
I want to add, that knowing this story pushes me to be humble as well. I know I have power and privilege simply by being born into the dominant culture of our country. I know I have power because I am one of ‘the ministers’ working in the
church. I know I have power because I can pick from the better half of life’s menu. Christmas challenges me to reflect on my life and choices so that I’m not just putting on the disguise of a Christian but that the child-like awe and wonder of it all
becomes truly part of me.
I often hear people say that the presents and celebrations are mostly for the kids and that is largely true. But for Christmas to be important, we as adults must ask what is in it for us? Shouldn’t there be something in this for us beyond the smiles of
the kids. As mature Christians, we shouldn’t just borrow joy and excitement from them. We have to bring some of the joy and excitement too and in ways, perhaps, only adults can.
Let me suggest to you the big difference. More than most children, we can list all the things wrong with the world and all the problems with our own society. We can spill gallons of ink on our neighbours and other countries and their destructive
We can see a shadow of despair growing in so many of our population, particularly among the young. Everywhere we look we can see darkness. So when we celebrate the birth of this child, who is named Jesus or ‘God Saves’, we have a better
appreciation of just how big a job that is and how much we need that saving grace. We and our world really need this child and the hope he brings. When we allow this child to give us the greatest of gifts which is ‘hope’ then we really have something life changing to offer the children in our lives and in our world. The gift of hope which we are called to receive from Jesus and then pass along doesn’t fit under the tree. But it will be far more important in the lives of those smiling children than anything else that we can give them. BUT, we must believe it its true and let his Spirit infuse our lives.
And that is why I love Christmas!
Merry Christmas, Gary