Don't Let Them
Lie To You
What could be more familiar than the
Christmas story? We all know the story. We all know it so well that
sometimes we miss its power. Here is the account of an unwed teenage
mother and her much older fiancÚ. This is also the story of oppression by
a powerful empire and God's intervention in history through the birth of
a tiny, helpless, human baby.
Centuries of retelling this story have watered it down in such a manner
that it has become nothing more than a cute story made for children's
pageants and greeting cards. For many of us, the Christmas story is
simply one more holiday decoration, which we take from our storage area,
dust off and display briefly before we put it away for another year.
But, Christmas should be much more than another celebration. Christmas is
the story of God's love, telling us that God cares enough about peace,
justice, and compassion here on earth to show up. The good news which should
be of great joy for all the people is that God doesn't stay high up and
far away. The wonderful message of Christmas is that in Jesus, God shares
our joys and concerns, our anxieties and our thanksgivings, because God
loves the world.
This Christmas, I invite you to dare to believe that there is more to
this story, than you've been led to believe. By all means, enjoy the
familiar sights and sounds of the season. But in the weeks ahead, I
invite you to set some of your certainties aside and go to God with the
Walk here to Easter, from the cradle to the cross, and beyond, and see if
God doesn't surprise you along the way. See if you don't find anew the
beauty of women and men, the delight of children, the wonder of creation,
the miracle of love, the satisfaction of justice, and the power of peace.
See if you don't find more than dusty familiarity, but new light from an
old star and new life that really is life.