Thursday, December 20, 2012

At Christmas Time

Man, there are a lot of things going on this Christmas. The world is scheduled to end tomorrow. I guess I should have waited to buy all my gifts. Might have saved some money, although I suppose money won't be worth much. And everyone is worried about "the fiscal cliff." That will also be taken care of. And we continue to do battle in four separate conflicts. Not very Christ-like on Christmas. Here in Arkansas, one in four children go to bed hungry at night. All people in the Village do is yell at the parents. "Get a job." Why not hand them food? I bet there won't be many Christmas sermons proclaiming the evils of any of these holiday happenings. The word PEACE will be used, given lip service by many a minister, but barely a one will insist on it.
My theology has always been a little weird. After spending two of three years in seminary, I prefer to look at the way Christ lived and try my best to follow. I take the story to mean I should strive to be a better person. That in my comfort, I should always be uncomfortable. That if there is a child hungry, an elderly person sitting alone and cold, someone living on the street, a sick person who can't afford help, a friend in need or a stranger looking to be seen and acknowledged, that if I now of any of those things happening and I close my heart and eyes to them at Christmas, I would be missing the point. No candlelight services would help me. I would be doing what Christ explicitly warned against. Closing my heart to the pain and suffering of others. It is in these contradictions and betrayals that have become our modern day Christmas that I find my greatest meaning and purpose: To do unto others as I would have them do unto me. I don't need all the fancy glitter, nativity displays, or Christmas sermons to understand such a simple Christmas gift given to us in a barn, amongst the filth and stink, in utter and awe-inspiring simplicity, at Christmas time.

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