Church

December 10 2012
11

I have had a long year. The last 12 months might have been some of the best, and the worst, I can remember.  Back-to-back-to-back transitions, a crazy travel schedule, and reacclimating to life in Nashville has worn me out. And then yesterday, I learned of the passing of a dear friend’s mother. Friday, I hit the road again, four days in the Dominican Republic to see the work of Food for the Hungry first hand.

Needless to say, my typical Christmas-Countdown-December-Frenzy has been interrupted by pain, poverty and large dose of perspective.

And it’s got me thinking, wondering, if Christmas, as we know it, perpetuates the misperception of Christians and the Church around the world. 

The trappings. The gifts. The way we cluster up in our homes, and our churches, with those we love.

Does this way we celebrate Jesus’ birth shout love, grace and peace or does it leave the have-nots feeling more empty, more alone and more broken than ever?

What if I was an outsider looking in? What if I didn’t understand the significance behind the birth of our Savior? What if I didn’t know the sacrifice that was made 33 years later? What if I hadn’t experienced truth, grace and unfailing love?

What would Christmas tell me about Christ? And His followers?

I can’t help but wonder. 

11 comments

  1. YES! I love spending time with my family and creating memories for my kids, but when Jesus came, it was messy. It was scary. It was even threatening. And here we are getting dressed in our best, killing ourselves over presents, and worrying about our baking and christmas cards.

    There is nothing wrong with that, but does that embody what Jesus did?

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  2. Three things: 1. Your living room is so great! Love the color, and that cow print? Fantastic! 2. How great is Greater? Oh my word!! 3. I think we generally fail at showing Jesus to the world at Christmas. You’re right: We jump right into the gifts and parties and new clothes with everyone else, and the most “Christian” the world usually sees is our often obnoxious behavior when the town won’t allow a nativity on public land, or when someone says “Happy Holidays” to us instead of “Merry Christmas”. Thanks for prompting me to do some serious thinking about what I can do differently this year…

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    • 1. Thanks 2. I haven’t read it yet. But have heard Great things. 3. Yeah. I don’t know how to do it different or better but I am definitely pondering it.

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  3. Thank you for this very thought provoking post.

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    • Thanks Ken! Always appreciate your encouragement.

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  4. I so agree that we’ve gone over the top with the trappings – and I am a prime offender. But the flip side is this: creating memories for our children of beauty, wonder, generosity and love is not a bad thing to do. In our famiy circle, we are doing much more giving of gifts ‘in honor’ of one another, gifts with a very long shelf life in other parts of the world and that has been so good. But the food, the music, the color – it speaks to me of life. And the Incarnation is the greatest validation of life known to history. So I think some form of celebration is definitely in order. As in most things in this life, finding balance is key.

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  5. I’ve been wondering about this too, Lindsey. I don’t have too many answers to the questions you asked just yet, but they definitely are producing a windstorm in my brain. Thanks for that. God bless you!

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  6. I don’t know, but I’ve become more aware of the question the past couple years and I guess that’s a start. It’s an odd feeling to have three little people in the house with us now, watching closely how we do Christmas. This year I find myself talking more about the “why”, so they know it’s not for Santa and gifts that we celebrate. I want someone looking in our window to know what the decorations are for, and I want my kids to understand that the baby in the manger changed absolutely everything.

    Thanks for this reminder, Linds.

    Reply

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