Putting Christ In Christmas?

Christmas - More Than a Word

Dear Friends,

As we cannot fail to get caught up in the relentless commercialism, the tired pop songs and the inexhaustible but exhausting round of indulgent parties, we sometimes feel inclined to offer at least a show of resistance by saying ‘Let’s Keep Christ In Christmas’.

But maybe there’s another voice to hear. For nothing of the secular Christmas feasting and celebrating is actually concerned with a Baby born in Bethlehem some two thousand years ago. We could equally well argue to keep Christ OUT of the secular version of Christmas, and instead to focus on Christ’s place in the heart of the original Christmas story.

 

You see, Christ is present whether we name him or not. The Christmas story is a celebration of the birth of Emmanuel – God with us. God with us for ever, to the very end of the age. Standing at the sidelines of the world’s Christmas excesses, shouting for Jesus to be present, does not really echo the voice of the angels who chorused their song of Glory to God and Peace on the Earth.

 

Let us instead welcome the revellers on their own terms, showing them the love, the light and the grace which Jesus showed us when he came to live on Earth. Putting Christ In Christmas is thankfully not our task after all – God has done this already.

 

Our job is simply to celebrate the story of the Christ child once again, and to bring the Christ light into the world of darkness.

 

  Christ, be our light!
  Shine in our hearts.
  Shine through the darkness.
  Christ, be our light!
  Shine in your Church gathered today 
(from ‘Longing For Light’ by Bernadette Farrell. 
Copyright Oregon Catholic Press via Calamus Licence No 1718)

 

May the Light of Christ fill your homes and your hearts this Christmas.

 

Stephen

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