I absolutely love this time of year, honest. I know it's stressful...and extremely busy...and over commercialized...and for some folks relegated to a few weeks of maddening shopping, a few minutes of ripping open packages wrapped in pretty paper, and overindulging at the holiday table...but I love it!
I love listening to Bing, Dean, Frank, and Perry, and hearing the kids try to explain what happened all those years ago and why we celebrate it in the first place, and actually hate the fact that I missed the guy who came by the house the other day with religious literature telling Steph that "The bible doesn't tell us to celebrate Christmas."
I love the images of the nativity, and for this week, I can put aside the fact that we have created the image we have now of Mary, Joseph, the livestock, shepherds, and wisemen by taking pieces from the different gospels and combining them into a new story.
I love picturing the star shining down on that little manger, the angels bursting into the sky above the shepherd's field, the awe in the shepherd's eyes, and the overall wonder of it all. I love gazing into the face of that child lying there, helpless, totally dependent on his parents, and knowing that he would grow up, and when he did, he would begin turning everything right side up.
That's what I love about Christmas the most. That night put into motion, here on earth, the events that would begin to usher in the Kingdom of God. The lame would walk, the blind would see, the deaf would hear, the lepers were healed, and everything that was wrong in the world at that time, Jesus would begin making right.
In today's Life Journal reading, Jesus is defending who he is to the teachers of the Law. They know what they are looking for in a Messiah, and Jesus just doesn't fit the bill. They've got it all figured out, sound familiar? But in John 7, 8, and 9, Jesus is standing up to them...again...and then he does it. The sweet little baby in the manger just couldn't be quiet, and said, "Before Abraham was born, I am!" Scripture says the teachers of the Law then started picking up stones to kill him, but Jesus hid himself and slipped out the back door.
So this week, gaze at the child in clothes that swaddled, marvel at the wonder of it all, celebrate with family and friends, and witness once again the moment when God broke into human history and began making right everything that was wrong, and that we have been called by the great "I Am" to continue what he started.