It's such a happy time of the year.
Ever seen a Christmas card or scene that wasn't happy?
- Angels are singing, shepherds are singing, and even the animals look like they're singing
- Mary - even though she just trekked in the cold on top of a donkey while fully pregnant, even though she just gave birth to her first son in an animal manger with all the animals with their urine and poop - is happy
- Joseph is happy
- Baby Jesus is happy
Everyone is so happy.
But that's not why I love Christmas.
You see, if that's Christmas, then Christmas is nothing more than a fanciful fairytale. We might as well start the Christmas story with "A long, long time ago..." and end it with, "and they lived happily ever after."
While these things are great for fairytales, that's all it is - a good tale. It doesn't make any difference or make any connection with the life I am living.
Because in real life, animals poop, pee, and fart in the manger, and both animals and mangers stink. That would be about the last place I would want my wife delivering a baby.
And I appreciate that the Bible never paints a fanciful tale about Christmas.
At the heart of the Christmas story is a baby who poses such a threat to the most powerful man in Judea that he kills a whole village full of babies in order to get rid of him.
Whatever else we say about Jesus, people have found Jesus to be a threat. Jesus is a threat to:
- Those who hold on to the facade that they are in control...
- Those who are desperate to hold on to power...
- Those who pursue wealth and fame...
- Those who need to be important...
- Those for whom what this world offers is everything...
The reality is that before Jesus could walk and talk, Jesus was a homeless refugee with a price on his head.
You see, if Jesus is Emmanuel - God with us, he must be with us not only where the joy is, but also where the pain is.
That's why I love Christmas. God is with us in both the joy and the pain and everything in between. And through it all, God shows us through the birth of Jesus Christ that we were created for eternity.
That's pretty awesome.
I love Christmas!