Thursday, December 24, 2015


Dear Christa—
Tomorrow is Christmas and it’s time for Jesus to be born. As I sit quietly pondering all the many preparations that go into Christmas, I can’t help wondering what Joseph and Mary would think of Christmas today.
The tree is lit and decorated. There are lights up the stairs and over the windows. The nativity set, that Jay and I painted so many years ago, is displayed on the coffee table. We’ll have enchiladas for supper, and our own traditional corned beef will go into the crockpot before we go to bed.
As music and smells waft around the decorated house, Christmas in Colorado couldn’t be farther from the real Christmas of Bethlehem all those many years ago. Very nondescriptly Jesus was born. Mary herself took care of cleaning the baby she’d just given birth to and He—God—was placed in a manger because there wasn’t any place else to put him. It was night. It was cold. And, shepherds came to see something they couldn’t quite figure out.
After the shepherds saw Him, they spread the word about the Child and the angels. Everyone was amazed at what they said, and then everyone went back to their work. Only Mary “treasured up these things and pondered them in her heart.”
In a week the tree will be stuffed back in its box. The lights and decorations will go back into their tubs and be shoved into the designated shelves in the basement. Christmas dishes will be put away and the old and familiar will replace them. Jay and I and our students will return to school, and we’ll pick up where we left off.
And, if we are not careful, Christmas will end—as it so often does—in Luke, chapter 2. But Jesus’ birth was only the beginning. Luke started his story at the beginning, but it did not end there. The future held more, so much more.
So, Luke continues his account to his friend, Theophilus, through the life and ministry of Jesus, through the crucifixion and resurrection on Easter morning, and His appearances and ascension, where, not a baby, but God our Savior returns to His pre-incarnate existence.
So, this Christmas Eve, let’s ponder—as Mary—Christmas.
Happy Christmas, once again, my dear friend—Christa.
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything

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