A few years ago I read a book called “Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham. The story gave me lots of laughter as I sat comfortable in my warm home feeling as if my world was all in order. This morning as I write this reflection, I’m riding with my dearest friends down the snow-filled streets of Montreal. We’re on our way to the store to buy a pair of jeans for their son Jason. Jason died last week and this is one of the last ways they can express their love for him. This year I am sorely tempted to “skip” Christmas.
Yet, I am truly grateful for the knowledge and the faith that Christmas cannot be skipped. Our traditional Christmas story tells us that Jesus was born into a world much like ours. Life was tough for Mary and Joseph. They were essentially homeless the night Jesus was born, and living under Roman rule. Ahead for them were heavier taxes and Herod’s massacre. Yet still Jesus was born.
God came into the world as a baby full of potential and love. God comes into the world every day, every minute with each baby born, bringing the possibilities of peace and love. Jesus taught us how to live in love and justice. Jesus brought an understanding of God as unconditional healing forgiving love. To live the way of Jesus can bring transformation for each one of us and for the world.
This year, I am truly grateful that Christmas, the true Christmas will come regardless of the pain that surrounds me, that surrounds us. This year I can trust that God’s light has come and will bring joy into the darkness of this world.
May the peace and joy of our loving God touch each of your hearts this Christmas. May God enable you to see the beauty of God’s creation, and feel the love of friends, family and strangers. Even in the midst of deepest darkest, you can experience the joy of knowing you are not alone because Jesus weeps with you.
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)