Tonight we celebrate the birth of Jesus, which happened over two thousand years ago in a far off place that barely resembles our lives today. What does this distant event have to do with our lives here and now? How does “God being with us” help when our kids are screaming as they get ready for school or we’re about to be downsized? That is our topic for Christmas Eve as we discover what it means for everyday life that God is With Us.
Whether it is traffic, shopping stress or one of a hundred other things, we all get a little grumpy during the Christmas season. This week is a reminder that Christmas is a time of joy. God is here! The creator of heaven and earth loves us and wants to be with us! Feeling the joy that comes with a close relationship to God is our topic for today
Glee aired it’s Christmas episode last week, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. They did the same thing with Christmas that they do with everything else- a mash-up. It had everything. Santa. The Grinch. A Christmas tree. Presents. It had everything most people associate with Christmas.
Yet it lacked the one thing I associate most with Christmas- Christ.
My guess is few people minded. For most people, those things are what Christmas is all about. Many will then cap off their Christmas season by going to church on Christmas eve. That will be the extent of Christ’s role in Christmas. Lots of church leaders bemoan the Christmas Eve presence of those who do not worship the rest of the year, but I am glad for their presence. Better once than not at all. Still, I am disturbed by what this episode of Glee revealed to me, which is that it is possible to have a wonderful, normal Christmas that has nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus. There are so many other things that go along with this season that Jesus has become optional for most. For many, he has become irrelevant.
That is what concerns me. It’s not the presents or the songs or Santa. It’s that Jesus has become irrelevant on his own birthday. I know it would hurt my feelings if everyone I knew bought presents for each other on my birthday and never even bothered to call. It just makes me sad for him that this is how he is treated. And the worst thing is, most people don’t even realize they are doing it.
Yikes. He could be a character on Glee.
If God is truly here, why is there still pain? Why is there suffering and injury and death? God is remaking the world a little each day, in big and small ways. Today we talk about the small ways, and how God is bringing healing through mundane, ordinary moments
You aren’t the only who is ashamed. Jesus was born to an unwed mother in a time when that could get you stoned to death. Now that God is here, though, shame has lost it’s power. Living set free from shame was the topic last Sunday.