Ahh, Christmas time. I could write a blog that you’ve read a million times. I could just say “Christmas isn’t about presents, it’s about Jesus!” And all the world would drink egg nog and laugh and be merry for ever. Right? Maybe not. I’ve always supported the “Keep Christ in Christmas” movement. But can we as Christians expect the world to listen to our call to ‘keep Christ in Christmas’ when we aren’t willing and fighting to keep Him in everything else we do? Keep Christ in our marriages. Keep Christ in our frienships. Keep Christ in our work places. Keep Christ in our homes.
This same conversation happened in my house every winter up until maybe…last year: “Mommy, she stole one of my chicken tenders!” “Nuh uh!! He splashed his soda at me!” “Guys, it’s Christmas! Can’t we be nice to each other?” A mothers wisdom! However, this wasn’t just seasonal. My mother is one of the most pure hearted people I’ve ever met, and she was always encouraging us to be kind to one another. I’m extremely grateful for that, because many influences in the world don’t promote peace and kindness. So many people are encouraged to seek their own self-gain, rely on money, and think of others last.
Perhaps some people think things will automatically get more joyful because it’s Christmas time. The fact is, Christmas isn’t here for our convenience. It’s not a soft, gentle reminder to give some money to the lady outside of Wal-Mart. It’s Christ! It’s our Lord who has come to set us free. It’s not a pretty scene in that nice log cabin in North Carolina. It’s a dirty, smelly stable. It’s an inn that told Mary and Joseph they were out of room. It’s not all the beloved friends around you, it’s a bunch of farm animals (which may remind you of your beloved friends anyway). It’s shepherds traveling through the fields in the night to see their newly born King. Look into the nativity scene. This isn’t easy. It’s not ‘pretty’ by the worlds standards. Yet it stands as one of the most beautiful things in the world. Christ coming into our lives and yet, how He longs to be welcomed into our lives every day. We encounter Him daily, whether in the Sacraments, in a friends warm smile, in the loving embrace of our families. We can’t expect Christmas time to make us holier by default. We must swing open the doors for Christ, invite Him into our lives each day, and embrace the struggle that it is to be holy. We can’t expect this holiday season to make us holy, when the reality is we are fighting to keep this ‘holi-day’ holy. Wait in joyful hope for our Lord. Be Christ to everyone you meet, each day. Let every morning be us inviting Christ to dwell in us. Expecting bright lights and egg nog to make us holy people just doesn’t make any frankin sense.