I have a group of friends that at a certain time each year, delight in giving each other presents. They have found that this routine brings them life as both a giver and receiver. They love to do nothing more than celebrate together the joy of being in each other’s presence. There is plenty of good food, loud music, sports on TV, and of course, laughter. It happens every year in the dead of winter, as a way to bring some life to a seemingly endless season of death. There are holiday greetings, a round of communion, some favorite hymns, and a reflection on sacred texts like the Gospel of Matthew chapters one and two, and the Gospel of Luke chapters one and two. Sprinkled in are a few texts from prophets longs ago, great men and women of the faith who would announce the coming of a redemptive king, one whose rule would never end, and a kingdom where peace and prosperity are given to all.
Every year, right around the 25th of of december.
But please don’t think they celebrate Christmas, they celebrate ‘baby born in winter national appreciation day.’
Sounds pretty ridiculous doesn’t it?
So does a group of Christians dressed up in costumes that celebrate “Harvest Festival.” To a watching world, we seem to want to pick and choose what parts of the holiday they we want to celebrate (gluttony, fairy-tale imagination) while disliking some of the perceived evils that we see in the holiday (Satan worship, child sacrifice, ghosts and goblins). But we fail to realize three key things:
So here are a couple of suggestions this year: