I haven’t written a lot about holidays here, but something about Christmas begs at least a mention! And I want to acknowledge Christian writer Richard Paul Evans (author of The Christmas Box and a great many other books) for prompting this post. In the flurry of all those pre-Christmas activities, there is always something at the back of my mind waiting for attention, and Evans helped me stop to take a closer look at it.
In Evans’s Christmas message, he of course told a story, but he also made this point: “I came to the realization that it is, perhaps, not as much a question of what Christmas is about as it is what we are about. That is, while we are attempting to define the season, the season, in fact, is far more adept at defining us – questioning our hearts whether or not we will hear its call of love and joy and peace on earth, goodwill to men.”
“Questioning our hearts” nails it for me. How critical it is not to just float along, detached from awareness of who I am and how I really think, letting my truest self be buried under the onslaught of social media — but rather to insist on taking the time and focus to ask myself where I am on my personal peace walk, on my love walk, on how I look at other people especially in times of inflammatory public rhetoric. No matter what the inputs are, it is my responsibility how I translate it into attitudes and actions.
So Christmas is, at its most basic level, about the birth of a child. But it’s also about the birth of humankind’s means of salvation, and how important it is to be reminded of that at least annually, preferably a lot more frequently.
This Christmas Week, I want to be mindful to see the Christ child birthing in every person I encounter.