22 December, 2010

Life

I know I have been delinquent in writing. I guess I am going through a bit of a funk. But that is too easy to explain it. I feel very attacked right now - internally, in relationships, in my mind - yet I feel like I am being fought for. I receive gentle words of kindness, reminders that I am not as alone as I feel, that not all opinions are correct. I feel the gentle stirring of my Father telling me He has been there all along. 


It's Christmas time. I've heard so many times in the last little bit how the reason for the season is family and being with those you love... 


But it's not. Not really. Christmas is about the birth of a Savior who came and changed the world. Family is nice, going home is good. Lots of food, warm houses, gathering together, etc. are not bad. But they are not the point of this time. 


The point is a baby, born in a manger, with parents far from their families, in the midst of scandal since his parents were not married (and his father was not his Father). And he came, appreciated and worshiped only by shepherds and later wisemen. There was no celebration, no family gathering. His parents' families did not coo over him with presents. As far as we know Mary delivered her baby alone. It's almost as if the birth of our Savior came without his earthly family - as far as the world is concerned, Jesus entered into it in relative obscurity. Heaven rejoiced and we did not notice. 


Leo the Great once said, "Truly wondrous is the whole chronicle of the incarnation. From the time when Christ came, the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back, and the speech of kindliness diffused. A heavenly way of life has been implanted on the earth." (Common Prayer pg. 77) 


The Nativity set in your house - pay more attention to it. That is the meaning. To me, it's more about love, service, getting out of your house to meet your neighbor, than it is about family and giving of gifts. Christmas is not about stuff - whether that means gifts or food. It's about the opposite almost - reflecting on what was given so we could have life. 

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© Amanda Lunday