Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas in December

Back by popular demand, it's Christmas... in December. Yes, indeed Christmas is a season of charity, sharing, celebrating... of thanksgiving, of love, and of hope. But, you knew all that, right? Why, then? In a word - joy. Everyone wants joy. Everyone yearns to be able to celebrate life. Well, my friends, 'tis the season. Even if you believe this Jesus character is the center of the world's greatest scam - which I do not - our culture, at least as Americans, has granted us this season to hope for joy. There are carols, and parties, and, and... tubas! Major cities nearly shut down, millions of people travel to be with their families, and prodigals swarm to fill churches to capacity! What the hell is going on?! Well, it's not Hell; it's Christmas.

I only bring this up, because we are perhaps too familiar with Christmas. This is not to bemoan the commercialism aspect. This is not to remind you to believe in Jesus Christ. We are familiar with the trees, the music, the movies, and gift-giving that has become the ritual of the season. What we tend to lose is the joy that life can bring when we let it - when we hope. I forewarned two years ago of a peddler of "hope" that he would not succeed if it did not spring from the human spirit. As children, we learn of hope and the true meaning of Christmas... and we get it. And then, we get selfish. Then, we get skeptical. Then, we forget what this time is all about.

If we are to properly explore Christmas, at the risk of infuriating millions of Christians (yes, I'm that widely read), we must harken back to Groundhog Day. I'm actually talking about the movie - Groundhog Day. Bill Murray (also starred in Scrooged, hmm) played a character who basically was forced to discover the meaning of life, one day at a time, the same day, until he got it right. He was forced to, not only discover, but CREATE joy. That movie was about Christmas, because like Christmas, it was about new life. God willing, we will get many do-overs of Christmas. What do you think it will look like when we get it right?

Merry Christmas.

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