Let’s stop the spin of our earth for a few moments today and let the reality of our Faith confront us. The Christ event is an historical reality that occurred approximately two thousand years ago. The recognition and annual celebration of Christmas as an historical event is important because it reminds us that our Faith is not based on a fairy tale but rather on a verifiable recorded event that took place in a part of the world that we can visit today, where we recognize the names and places where Jesus the Messiah was born, grew up, lived, preached, performed miracles, transformed hearts, inspired disciples, suffered, and ultimately died for each one of us. And none of that was surprising; it was all accomplished in fulfillment of the recorded promises of God over time.
And now 2000 years after His incarnation we are embedded with the essentials of a Faith that inspires the way we live, interact, love, and die. There is so much to unpack in the Christ story that has been recounted, preached, explained, dramatized, and captured musically for us in different ways throughout our lives. Somehow we still wonder if we truly understand the depths of what it really means in terms of our own birth, the various stages of our life, our mortality, and our own resurrection in time.
It is essential that we use this time of collective celebration to find some quiet time to individually open our hearts, our minds, and our souls to welcome the re-birth of Jesus within each of us and all of us. Then when we look out from our quiet consciousness we might better see each other as children of God, as brothers and sisters, with gifts and talents and needs and weaknesses and faults and shortcomings and annoying habits and disabilities and mental illness and pride and humility, even goodness, and yes even the Love that reflects the presence of God that is within each one of us, perhaps well-disguised at times, but deep within us because we were all formed in the image and likeness of God. With those eyes we are ready to celebrate the re-birth of Jesus, today’s Christmas, within us.
So what is the Christmas message in 2021? Celebrate with Holy Joy, enjoy the tree, and the presents, and the music, and the refreshments, and the food, and the few people who can be with you in these restrictive times; but find a quiet moment today to go deeper, to engage in both a more internal and external personal perspective of the re-birth of Jesus. Internally, by deciding today that you are going to welcome Jesus to nourish your own spiritual life, to recognize that His nourishment and His Grace can transform you in understanding your own failings and your own strengths in a way that will promote the same growth that He experienced in wisdom and the Grace of God.(Luke2:40). And externally, by deciding to open your eyes and heart to try to see the presence Jesus in every one you encounter, even in those who at this time appear to have turned their back on God.
Enjoy and celebrate your Christmas re-birth!