Every year… just about every year I write something about Christmas at some point between Thanksgiving and Christmas day. This is another one of those busy years, where the post is coming later than I want, but thankfully before the big day.
“The BIG Day”… sounds kind of funny. “Christmas is not a Biblical holiday”. I believe I took four years with a write up which was all about this day NOT being Biblical. But the reality is, I should say, it is not an observed Holiday in the Bible. It is a day that we chose to turn into a celebration of Christ’s birth. Can’t be bad. Until we mess it up. BUT, for those Christians who don’t choose to celebrate Christmas, I totally get it, and for those who do, I totally get it. I just like taking a moment to go one step further than saying what the reason for the season is, but rather, to put OUR purpose in the season under the microscope.
Thus my topic will not be about why Christmas is not a necessary holiday, nor am I going to bleed into the New Year and the empowering potential of starting over, ripping out the old pages and starting fresh. No, I plan on staying right here in the present, in Christmas, in my topic for the day. Christmas as an opportunity to Love.
There was a time that I can remember, when Christmas was all about me. I wonder how many kids make that their truth, even in the midst of all the other stories being told about the purpose of the season. Me, Me, Me!!! It is surely easy for a child to get caught up in that mentality, which is why the message of Love is so important. “Love was born on Christmas Day”, a wonderful lyric from one of the fun Christmas songs on my home playlist. And with this we can finally get to the meat of my post, how easy it is to LOVE during this time of year.
Love was born on Christmas day. The world was turned upside down, as a child entered the world, destined to bring love to all people. I don’t care what you believe, if you believe in history, you believe that Christ was a man who taught an incredible lesson of love in situations that would seem impossible to demonstrate love. Yet He did, and through that dedication to love selflessly, He changed the world. Again, regardless of what you believe, if you trust any historical document, you know this is true. That Christ truly loved the world. So then comes the question… is He the Messiah. To say Love was born on Christmas day, is to generalize that Christ was the most loving being to walk the earth. I believe it to be true. If it is, then it is easy to see how the road has been paved for us to fall into that trap this time of year. To make the effort to drop the stress and the craziness, or at least let it roll off our backs like water, so that we have a space to go out of our way to demonstrate love.
Once upon a time, I was reading an interview in the magazine Rolling Stone. The Interview was with Bono, the lead singer from the Irish band, U2. In that article, the interviewer asks an outright question, “Do you believe that Christ is the Messiah”, and Bono’s response is an overwhelming yes. If there was creation at all, who would I be to stand against the idea that he is the Messiah. The idea struck me and it strikes me now, that the sharing of love was so great, that it almost becomes natural to give an opportunity to the idea, to give a foothold in the stronghold of our minds that says, “there is a messiah”, because how else would a man, demonstrate this much selflessness.
It then makes it so very clear in my mind, that the purpose of this time for us, the reason why this non-Biblical holiday has grown to be so expansive, is so that we take our turn putting forth an effort to Love. Man made the holiday without the help of God, man decided to give gifts, and to celebrate Christ, because the calling is to love others the way we have been loved. Regardless of what you believe, or who you believe in; right now, there is so much opportunity for you and I to take a moment and show Love to somebody else, that in this moment we can change something important. Something… I use the word something, because with love we can change things that we cannot see, nor will we see ever perhaps. We can have an impact on those around us, and as the spirit of Love becomes contagious, there is somebody somewhere, whom we will have rescued with our contagious fire of love.
The purpose of Christmas, is to give love. The purpose is to demonstrate Love. I have been battling with the depression that comes after a surgery, where you cannot do what you want or need, there is pain, there is weakness, and their is dependence. But as we have drawn closer to the day, this has become less and less impactful. I feel myself becoming more and more inspired. It truly is an amazing time of year that can help pull us out of anything and into anything.
You might recall the passing of my father in law, two years ago. We are just days away from the day we lost him. It makes it difficult to walk through this season with joy. Yet, we have developed a tradition to travel together the day after Christmas, and to invest in each other during that time. I can tell you, this year, I am looking forward to it so much, because I can almost feel the amount of love that will be shared. I want to pray a blessing of love over all of you, in hopes that you will feel the calling to love those around you, more than you have.
Be blessed and Be well! – Dr. E
(PS – you should look out for the New Years post, it will be a motivational one to say the least) :)