The age old question – what is the meaning of Christmas?
Christmas = celebration of The incarnation.
1. an incarnate being or form
2. a living being embodying a deity or spirit.
3. assumption of human form or nature.
4. the Incarnation, (sometimes lowercase ) Theology . the doctrine that the second person of the trinity assumed human form in the person of Jesus Christ and is completely both god and human.
5. a person or thing regarded as embodying or exhibiting some quality, idea, or the like
….the celebration of the Incarnation of God in the midst of Creation. That’s not to say that God was not or is not present in the midst of creation – all you have to do is to look around you to see evidence of that – people, animals, plants, water, mountains….. but that God in-vested, or entered into creation in a way that was new to us. That incarnation came out of an act of love. So we could say that Christmas is the celebration of the incarnation of love in the midst of creation.
Hopefully not too confusing.
What does that mean for you and for me? It means we do not have to be afraid. It means that it is ok to feel, it means that it is ok to hurt, and most importantly that it is ok to love. Maybe not even that it is ok, but that we must love, with every part of our being. That kind of love leads us to risk.
Story (click here to see)
We do not have to be afraid – all we have to do is to love – and in doing so it will change our hearts, and minds, and the world around us! Yes – you too can do this, and you don’t have to do it alone, because as the old saying goes – many hands make light work – what if we were all not afraid to love in that way, and even if we can’t all be like Stephen Lewis, or Ghandi, or Jesus – even if we were to do just a bit of that, if we were all to do that, to let that flow through us together, then what could we do? Anything! Christmas is the time to celebrate that – to believe that, and to live that love. You’ve probably all heard someone quote John 3:16 to you before ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. ‘ …. there is also that next verse – ‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.’ – and why, and how? To teach us to risk, to teach us to love – not in some sappy Holywood fashion, not that that is necessarily bad, but to teach us to risk sharing the kind of love that helps others and us in the midst of pain and suffering, no matter what kind or what the cost – and that is the kind of love that heals old and new wounds, the kind of love that feeds the hungry, the kind of love that houses the homeless, the kind of love that includes the excluded, the kind of love that ends wars, the kind of love that brings justice and peace…. the kind of love that transforms hearts and minds and spirits. Celebrate the gift of love, celebrate that love became incarnate in the world, and lives all around us, and in us. Celebrate that you are loved always and forever, more than we can possibly ask for or imagine. Celebrate God’s gift to you.