Category Archives: Christmas

Let’s Get It Right!

Many of us try to get everything right at Christmas. Those in charge of cooking endeavour to prepare the most sumptuous feast of the entire year. In our effort to choose “the right gift,” plan the “best party,” do “the right thing” that will keep everyone happy, we get buried in the work of Christmas. The celebration becomes a mountain of expenses and a valley of exhaustion. We declare, “Christmas is ruined. Society has commercialized it. Let’s run away. Let’s not celebrate at all.” For Christians escape is not an option. The celebration of Jesus’ birth is second only in importance to the celebration of Easter. What then can we do?

On our front lawn, a spot light illuminates the word “JOY”. The “O” carries the silhouette of the Christmas nativity, announcing Jesus’ birth. Many years ago, a friend, shared his creative gift with wood, by making this for me. When the preparations and celebrations of Christmas leave me exhausted, this beautiful piece of art reminds me that two thousand years ago, God came in Jesus and changed the world.

At Christmas, I give gifts because I am grateful for God’s love, because I want to share the abundant blessings I have been given.  I celebrate at parties because I am called to share the Joy of knowing God’s love and forgiveness. There is no “right” to our Christmas celebration. We are carrying on the joy that began with a carpenter, who through us is still touching lives with God’s love. We are lighting up the world with the “Good News” of creation. To be the gift of Christmas is a “holy privilege.” There’s no right way to do it. We need only give in love. It’s God’s job to make it “right”.

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:10-12)

Under Construction

Winter brings relief from the constant road construction that slows down our journey. We want the convenience of smooth, uncongested roads without the frustration of time consuming delays and the vast expenditures of tax dollars required.
            The Advent scripture readings begin with the prophet Isaiah saying, “Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Remove the rough spots, the places where you step away from God. Remove the hatred and the prejudice that have become mountains between you and others. Fill in the valleys of greed. Accept the freedom to share your bounty with others. Smooth out the rough road of busyness and dissatisfaction with prayer and gratitude. Put your life under construction.
Yes, construction is expensive. Changing your life requires energy. You will have risk looking at your dearly held prejudices. Lay them down to love and accept all people. You will have to receive the wisdom that comes from holding out your hands in forgiveness to those who have hurt you. You’ll have to open your eyes and hearts to the pain of others. Your family and friends may lose patience with you. Construction is like that.
This Christmas season, instead of crying out to God to smooth out your life, listen to the prophet Isaiah. Begin your own construction company. Believe you can do it because of God’s promise to love you and support you. God will provide the friends, the bulldozers and the strength you need to get the job done. This Christmas, be ready for the birth of the Christ child in your own heart.
A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together.  (Isaiah 40:1-5)