The Biblical nativity story (Luke 2:1-20) is the rich and nourishing soil from which many of our cultural traditions have their roots. We are a people of the story, who’ve sought to Christianize our culture with salt and light. We believe that anything that is good, true and beautiful is at our disposal.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
The story of Christ’s birth is packed full of the seeds that have burst out of people’s consciousness in a thousand narratives. The Nativity is a tale of two worlds touching in a marvelous and malevolent cacophony of characters, wonders, miracles, and mysteries.
Through the lens of this gospel story, one can see the truths being told in our Christmas traditions.
In the blessing of our children…we see the miracle and mystery of Mary’s obedience.
In our unexpected choices, left turns, and seeming dead ends…we know of Joseph’s conundrums.
In Rome’s demands…we understand our own displacements, debts, origins and dual citizenship restraints.
In our search for home and place…we understand the humble manger on the margins of society.
In our songs…we echo the sounds of Heaven that were announced over Bethlehem’s sleeping city, unaware of the earth changing happenings over them.
In our work shifts, late nights and mundane happenings….we identify with the lowly shepherds.
In our world of sin and suffering….we understand Herod’s madness and murder.
In our gift giving…we share in the Magi’s joy.
In our welcome of the return of light to our land…we too embrace the coming age of light of life eternal.
In our feasting, merrymaking and decked out halls….we anticipate the Kingdom of tears wiped away, people reunited and joy unspeakable and full of glory.
In our stockings packed with treasures…we re-enact the overabundance of unmerited gifts of Divine grace lavished on all who anticipate His coming.
In our Characters of Christmas…we remember the Father who always sees us, whoever knows what our heart’s desires may be and visits us wherever we may find ourselves in different chapters of our life.
These truths are the core convictions of our Christmas celebrations, they provide a meaningful Christian apologetic for practicing our treasured cultural traditions. Don’t let a Herod, Scrooge or the Grinch steal from your heart the wonder, mystery, and joy of Christmas, if you do, you might discover a lump of coal in your stocking this year!