Christmas is for...

A few Decembers ago we were startled by a cashier’s tired comment that they wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas, they’d had it early because “it’s just for the kids.” That cashier may well have been financially and emotionally exhausted and just couldn’t admit one more thing in the schedule. But if all one knows of “Christmas” is the Santa-Claus-is-coming-to-town version, as fun as that may be, “Christmas” can exhaust itself a few weeks before the season of Advent is over and Christmas actually begins.

What do we mean when we prepare for “Christmas,” when we set up a tree, put up lights, perhaps prepare a creche with an empty manger?

At the liturgy on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day, which many may not get to attend, the church celebrates the incarnation of God among us. Julian wrote that this gift of God’s self was twofold: “In his taking on of our nature he gave us life” and “in his blessed dying upon the cross he gave birth to us into eternal life.” God came among us to give us life, to give us a radical flourishing, a community not based on rivalry but the radical hospitality of love.

At Christmas, we remember the first gift. Jesus was born and so Christmas is a birthday, and so much more than a birthday. If we want to make Christmas “for children,” what about the child at the heart of this holiday? On birthdays, we often give the person a gift, as a gesture of our happiness for their life—something they might particularly desire. What do we give Jesus for Christmas? What might give him joy, here and now, in our own lives, our own world?

Recent Issues

May 2024

March 2024

February 2024

January 2024

December 2023

November 2023

October 2023

July 2023

May 2023

January 2023

December 2022

October 2022

September 2022

July 2022

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

January 2022

December 2021

November 2021

October 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

February 2021

January 2021

December 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

January 2019

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015