I started really thinking about Christmas for a little while. I couldn’t help but really pour into reflection on this holiday. I would like to really point out some points about the Christ child and how we should perceive Him. I will start with the Child.
Jesus was born a Jew. I think I should get that out of the way. I can’t help but be sad when people treat the term “happy holidays” as a war on Christmas. The first thing we should see is that logically, it includes Christmas. Secondly, since Christ was a Jew, he celebrated holidays like Hanukkah. Maybe we should be kinder. Instead of seeking how to make Christianity’s Christmas exclusive in America, maybe we should focus on our celebration and honoring the Christ and realizing “Emanuel” (“God with us”). We are the ones who know that Christ is Lord. Since the star appeared overhead (my comrade Benji has said some interesting stuff on his weblog concerning the political nature of the star) we have seen that Christ actually challenges all governments of the world and makes himself Lord of the Church and the followers of God. So let’s focus when as we celebrate Christmas. Are you adamant about the sanctity or worshiping God or the sanctity of being right? It’s your choice.
I also recall also that Christ came into a time of troubled thoughts on the coming of the King. Everyone thought God would send His servant to enter in and conquer. They also that God would literally sent enthroned on Mount Zion. Christ did not defy that in some ways, but he fulfilled promise differently than most specified at His time. I challenge people to start thinking eschatology as they enter into Christmas. This isn’t just about the first coming, though we look back at something that has already happened. It is also about a future coming when God will rule on an entirely new level that is fuller than He rules now. (One of my comrades named Chad also comments on this idea). I hope you consider this as you enter celebrating what has already happened. Let the Spirit exist on you in hope as well as faith and love. One of my professors, Dr. Mulholland, said it perfectly when he said, “Revelation looks back on what Daniel looks forward too.” Daniel looks forward to what we know as the first advent (Christ’s birth so long ago). But what Revelation adds is something of a return as we enter a ultimate time of peace that will end the strife of the current age.
I then challenge you with a new idea. Most of you will celebrate with family. You will buy things over the holidays. I challenge you to buy in such a way that brings honor and dignity to those who produce your gifts and feasts. All the prophets, Christ, and the early Fathers would have said that. This can be a form of ministry. I say that to know financial well being in the basic sense of survival is one step closer to experiencing God in this world. When Christ returns, all the troubles of desiring survival in the midst of the possibility of not surviving will be eradicated and we will ALL HAVE ENOUGH!!! I challenge you to read the beginning of Luke and Matthew and then to read the last two chapters of Revelation. As an old commercial once said, “Something’s Up.”