Boxing Up Christmas   1 comment

ChristmasI am clinging to Christmas past: playing Christmas music, plugging in the tree, snacking on holiday food and drink.  My neat wife likes to box up the season quick, but I’ve talked her into observing the 12 days of Christmas, not because I’m liturgically inclined, but because I’m trying to hold at bay the cheerless, cold, dark march of winter days.  Our second advent theme this year was celebration, and all our decorations and colored lights inside and out speak of good cheer, pushing back the bleakness beyond.

star of bethlehemThe first Christmas was a true celebration, the Savior had been born and his whole life of healing and redemption lay ahead of him.  His birth was the great crack in space and time through which God poured in.  It changed everything.  But our little christmases change nothing.  We pause to celebrate for a few weeks and then go back to life as usual; our sugar high dumps us on the doorstep of New Years with our purses a good bit thinner and our paunches a good bit thicker.  Our celebrations leave us worse off, our only defense the remorse of resolutions to do better in the next 12 months.

As I say goodbye to extended family, vacation, wrapped gifts, boxes of chocolate, TV specials and Christmas carols and return to the mundane of alarm clocks, office memos, bologna sandwiches, and the monthly mortgage, how can I keep alive the magic of Christmas?  If there is any real magic in Christmas and not just pretend magic, it must be that God himself is with me–Immanuel–and my ongoing celebration, not simply of his memory from 2000 years ago, but of his daily presence.  Any suggestions for how a celebration of that might look?


Posted December 30, 2012 by janathangrace in thoughts

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One response to “Boxing Up Christmas

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  1. This question is soooo great Janathan. What does a celebration of Christmas look like as the year passes and the next celebration of Christ’s birth approaches? Oh wow I am enthralled by this! (I feel bad I’ve been raiding your blog today!)

    How to celebrate daily, for me, means not celebrating the *memory of his birth*, but rather the *message he brought*. Jesus was born to bring the word— to bring the good news. The centre of his message was to love thine enemy. It was about love and prayer. Celebrate Christmas everyday as the year passes, by being Christ-like… by loving your loved ones, and praying for your enemies. Celebrate salvation.

    Matthew 5:42-45 is one of the few places we are given the word of Christ:

    “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

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