Sunday, December 25, 2011


His parents were hungry, weary travelers…peasants…living under a corrupt government. He was born in a stable…a grotto…to a teenage mother. There was no medical care…not even a midwife. The birth announcement was made to shepherds.

And we call this the Christmas Miracle?

Yes, a miracle indeed: God has visited us in the person of Jesus.

But he came in humility. He worked through a devout, obedient couple. He connected with the poor and oppressed.

Claim the miracle this Christmas!

In our weakness…in our spiritual poverty…with a measure of trust and fidelity…God is present in our lives! Amen.

Top: Fresco by Botticelli, Florence, 1476

Merry Christmas!

I appreciate the cultural warriors who want to “put Christ back into Christmas.” Still, it makes me a bit uncomfortable. Christian pugilism doesn’t seem appropriate to the season.

For my part, I have tried to be more intentional with a hearty, sincere Merry Christmas greeting rather than an acculturated Happy Holidays.

It’s impossible to remove the Christian underpinnings of this season. Dr. Joel Heck, in a Christmas devotional* entitled “Bring Religion into Everything” points out that the word holiday comes from holy day, and Santa Claus is named for a fourth century Christian bishop. An excerpt from Heck’s writing:

St. Paul invites us to do whatever we do for the glory of God.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1st Corinthians 10:31)

In order to do that, we have to bring religion into everything. To bring the Christian religion into everything, we have to bring Christ into everything. Let’s not be quiet about it. Let’s bring the Christmas spirit into all our giving, all our shopping, and all our serving. Let’s realize that all our eating and drinking, all our Christmas parties, and all our worshipping is from God and for God. He gives us the fixings, and then he comes to the party. Let’s notice his presence and celebrate it.

To that I offer another Amen! If we truly allow Jesus into every facet of our lives, popular culture will be unable to detach Christ from Christmas.

* - A Grand Miracle, Joel Heck