Food for Thought-What Really Matters at Christmas

1. Christmas means that I take the opportunity to ask real questions of myself and others. As I excavate the deeper meaning of my faith, I urge others to grab shovels, axes, and any available tools so they may do the same. Christmas, a season when God moved the existing boundaries of everything we thought possible, should be a time when religious paradigms begin to shift. For example, I shouldn’t have fear at the idea of telling anyone there are parts of the Christmas story with which I have real issues; like the virgin birth. We should be able to ask why we believe what we believe, why we do what we do, and do so with love.

2. Christmas means that I urge others to look beyond the superficial symbolism we’ve attached to our holiday celebrations. Christmas means we ask the “Isaiah 61” questions. In light of God made man, are we bringing good news to the poor, binding up the brokenhearted, proclaiming release to the captives, and liberation to the prisoners? These are not symbolic statements. They are action items on Jesus’ agenda which includes seeing them as part and parcel of our Christmas celebrations. If we can’t see the poor, brokenhearted, those held captive, or imprisoned in Joseph, Mary, and Jesus then we are blind.

3. Christmas means that I repeat, with a mantra like frequency, that Christmas is not a play, pageant, or feel good drama. Christmas is the story of humanity clinging to hope and having that hope restored as God acts through the life of Jesus of Nazareth.