|Posted by jeffdoucette on December 28, 2016 at 9:35 AM|
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
― Charles Dickens
This is the great line from Dicken’s classic and my favorite Christmas show “A Christmas Carol”. It is the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge whose heart has been corrupted by money and how it affected his life. Through the visitation of Jacob Marley and three other ghosts he was given the chance to turn his life around and find out that he could make a fresh start.
This quote has stuck in my head as I watched it this year and as I looked at the many Christmas cards I received. I would love us to rethink Christmas cards. Don;t get me wrong. I love people sending them out to friends and I love those we received as it showed people were thinking of Sandy and I during this season. But what if we sent Christmas cards that were more realistic that made us think about what the Christmas story really is about. I don't think that any of the card pictures stood out in my mind...so I want to set th stage for what I am writing about today.
What I love about the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke Chapter 2 is that it is an invitation to change our lives around. It is a story that fulfills the promise of the prophets that a voice would cry out to answer the cries of people in pain. It is the story of God who goes to the margins to meet those most in need. And God moves from the expected places of palaces and royal proclamations to head out into the outlying areas and speaks to Shepherds then to an Inn keeper and Magi and then the word spreads.
Somehow we have let the images of Christmas become glossed over in an often sickening display of poor art or artwork that does not truly depict the message of the Christ story. Perfect pictures of a proper mother-father-child family to give our hearts that warm and fuzzy feeling are not the intent of the Christmas story.
But the story is more than that. It is a forced census to get more money forcing more people to travel to their birth home to be counted. Add to the top of that God has a story in mind that is not our story version. What was God thinking to pick a teenager, an older carpenter to bring a love story to earth. The new King, the Messiah was not an established leader of an army….but a child and a refugee child at that. And the story turned the world upside down taking the halls of power with it on a wild roller coaster ride.
The story at the time by Luke aided by Matthew would begin to weave a tale of intrigue, terror, a reigning King hell bent on keeping power and a family forced to flee for their lives. Yet somehow we have sugar coated the story and diluted it. How do we recapture that story in today’s society.
So I thought what if I made Christmas cards based on today such as the following. Below each picture would be the message on the inside of the card.
May the Christmas Star lead you like the Magi to the Child.
Merry Christmas from our home to yours!!!!!
May the Holy family bless you this wondrous season!
May you be surrounded by family this Christmas!
May Hope fill your heart this Christmas story!
And the Magi knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matt 2:11)
Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt,
and remained therad you like the Magi to the Child.e until the death of Herod. (Matt 2:14-15a)
Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you
May the Christmas star fill you with a love that is inclusive of all!
May the Christmas story take root in our hearts and move us to justice!
May the Christ Child asleep in the manger warm your heart this Christmas!
The sad part is that I am not sure these cards would sell because they are too stark and too real and prick and poke us in ways that we might not want at Christmas. But then again what do we think the Christmas story is truly ment to do? This might be a project for me for next Christmas...we will see how many are willing to buy them.
May the story of the Christ Child prick and poke us to new ways of living the gospel.
Until next time.....