Anticipating Christmas

We’re not meeting this evening, so I’m processing some thoughts this morning. wallcoo-com_christmas_66-550x412

Christmas is coming, and for The Community Church that means our first Christmas Eve service. We’re doing this to give all of us, on our atypical, individualistic, Jesus-Take-The-Wheel-God-Bless-The-Broken-Road, post-modern, progressive selves a small dose of holiday ritual and ceremony. It will be fun, sentimental, reflective, irreverent, contemplative, and goofy just like all our other services. Please come.

For many, Christmas Eve is the longest night of the year. If you come from one of those families that only opens presents on Christmas Day, it’s the worst. Looking forward to the next day, thinking about the things that make Christmas special, only prolongs the agony. Kids can’t sleep and parents can’t stay up. We are exhausted and restless waiting for the relationships, gifts, food, and all the other joys the day can bring. (If the day is a good thing for you)

In Christianity, the Birth of Jesus symbolizes the same exhausted restlessness. Our weary world, torn by evil, hate, and fear, gropes in the long dark winter of defiance, ignoring our Creator and His hope for us. Instead of leaving us to our own devices, destined to be destroyed by the crushing entropy of self-driven living, He gave us a way out. He became us, leading us to the light by entering the darkness. Rather than standing on the edge, shouting out directions from afar, through Jesus He walked among us, igniting the divine light placed in each of us, and illuminating the way out. Like presents under the tree, whose only clues are size, shape, weight, and imagination, the goodness that we strive for, that we demand from others, is fully revealed in Jesus. As we open the present of His image in us, we open the limitless possibilities of creation forged in the imagination of the Divine.

And so we waited, each of us. Knowing there was more, we sought a better, just world, where compassion defeats apathy, generosity cancels greed, hope subdues fear, acceptance quells bigotry, and love conquers all. This is the world Jesus spoke of when talked about the “life abundant” He offers us. This is the coming of the Kingdom of God. It is not a world where righteousness wins, but serves; it is a world where we are given freedom in order to set others free.

In the next few days, what gift in you is ready to be given to the world? What darkness needs the light you carry?

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