Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas! (And Happy Birthday Jesus)

Some people love this time of year. Some love the time just after it's all over (but before they have to go back to work of course.) Some (like me) love summer, just because it's...summer :) I mean, why couldn't tradition have chosen June 25, when it's warm?

I've often thought that a "perspective" book, or T.V. special would be illuminating. What are the various perspectives on this time of the year. There's the Christian perspective, of course. This is our time of year. But there is also the Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu view. (Search for "Merry Christmas Southpark" for example) They all, along with the Atheist, see this from an external perspective. Yet if my informal surveys over the years are valid, a lot of them like this time of the year for a variety of reasons. Business is good. People are (ahem, sometime) more cheerful, and hey, kids love ole' saint Nick.

But there is also the perspective of the lonely and the alone. If Christmas is about family and giving, those who are alone and have nothing to give can feel like this is not at all the most wonderful time of the year.

Then there is the perspective of the soldiers stuck in Iraq and other places around the world. A Soldiers Christmas is to be away from family and loved-ones struggling to understand why "we" are still in Iraq.

Wherever you are this year, and from whatever your perspective: Merry Christmas to you. I sincerely hope that this year has been good and the next better. But more than anything, I hope that you are able to brush aside the trees, the traffic, the gifts and yes maybe even the guilt and see through it all to the real point. Jesus Christ, born in mystery, who lived a truly amazing life, was killed and then reported to have been resurrected. Jesus is the reason. Forget our theologies. Forget our politics. Forget our pathetic history and total inability to kindly represent him. Forget us this season and instead understand who He was, and is. Set out on a journey that begins this season - a journey to understand the man who is God, Jesus Christ.

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