Every year the two holidays that mark the shattering of time arrive accompanied by an unholy, consumeristic, commercialization that confuses anyone willing to ask questions like, “What is this season actually about?" The birth of the Son of God and his resurrection from the dead is presented in contexts that include a fat man delivering presents via reindeer and a rabbit dropping off processed sugary treats. Dylan was right. ‘The times are a changin.’
I’m not anti-Santa (though his whole coal-in-the-stocking thing is a bit absurd. How about just a passive aggressive note? Sorry. That’s Seattle talking). I don’t necessarily hate the rabbit either. Yes, I read both Old and New Testaments and neither seems to have problem with the man from the North Pole or with rabbits. Jana and I play along every year. Someone asked me this week why we participate with Christmas being that we're Christians. Here’s my simple response: if there’s anything our children need these days it is for moms and dads to foster imagination and creative thinking in those who still have a spark of wonder to them. And yet, living in our city of Seattle with so many ideas, religions, world views, and so on… It can be challenging to remember what is the Christ-mass all about?
Who is invited to behold the King of glory?
Is it for priests, pastors, and seminary graduates?
Is Christmas for humanitarians, philanthropists, and social workers?
Is it for mail-carriers, bartenders, and recycling collectors?
Is it for Amazon execs, baristas, and a stay-at-home dads?
Is Christmas for the well-dressed, perfect-smile, non smokers?
Heck, does your Christmas liturgy even count if it isn’t accompanied by vestments and spoken in Latin?
What if Christmas service is the only other time you darken the door of a church (Easter being the other one) baring a tragedy or wedding?
Why is the Son of God laying in a borrowed stable, held by his teenage mother, surrounded by buzzing flies and puffing beasts?
Exactly who is He here for?
Christmas is for the busy executive who cannot peel herself away from the desk or phone to get home to the husband and children that love her so much.
Christmas is for the man who swore in God's name in the shed last Saturday he tripped over his son’s bike.
Christmas is for the one who just can’t seem to quit.
Christmas is for the one who wants to quit on life and check out a bit early.
Christmas is for those who cheat on their income taxes in April in order to stuff one more thing under the tree in December.
Christmas is for those who lie to their spouses about where they’ve been.
Christmas is for those who take an extra five minutes on their smoke break.
Christmas is for those who make excuses and somehow always have someone to blame.
Christmas is for the day-laborers standing outside the Marathon gas station on HWY 16.
Christmas is for the fireball seminary student, who is worried more about Greek syntax than the state of his own soul.
Christmas is for those whose life did not take the shape that they hoped or thought that it would.
Christmas is for the one whose dreams were crumpled by a stinging word from a grown up.
Christmas is for those who had their childhood robbed and has landed them in therapy in their late thirties.
Christmas is for the one who falls asleep in church because that’s the only time his soul actually feels at rest - among God and his children.
Christmas is for the one who is brokenhearted and can’t see through the fog of his own thoughts.
Christmas is for the guy caught in traffic for the 5th time this week.
Christmas is for the mom who can’t seem to lose the baby weight and it drives her crazy.
Christmas is for those whose lives appear to have amounted to nothing more than a lump of coal.
Christmas is for the couple whose marriage is shipwrecked.
Christmas is for the one who left his zipper down and paid the price for it in 5th grade.
Christmas is for the one who prefers not to show his crooked teeth... ever.
Christmas is for the one who tracked dog sh*t into the living room twice in one day.
Christmas is for the person who is more concerned over the words “dog sh*t” than “Syrian refugee”, “homeless child”, “sex addict", or "white supremacist."
Christmas is for the tired cook riding the 5 bus up Aurora tonight.
Christmas is for the one who’s daddy told him he is “a big pile of mistakes.”
Christmas is for the person who gets nervous in a crowded room.
Christmas is also for the person who can’t stand the thought of being alone in a room.
Christmas is for the parent who lays awake at night wondering whether not she is doing “good enough” at raising a child.
Christmas is for those who give up on New Year’s resolutions by the end of the first week.
Christmas is for the one who belly-flopped off the low dive in July at summer camp and is still blushing in embarrassment in December.
Christmas is for grumps, grinches, and greedies.
Christmas is for the one who needs good Friday Grace and Easter Sunday hope.
Christmas is about a Father who cannot stand the thought of being apart from his children one more moment.
Christmas is for me.
Christmas is for you.