I’ve spent the last couple years rethinking a lot of things about faith, church, money, the kingdom, and, of course, how those things are supposed to be played out in my day-to-day life. One of the things I’m rethinking these days is Christmas. I’ve been studying the history of Christmas and I’ve discovered just how unrelated our faith is to our traditions—trees, gifts, flying reindeer, figgy pudding. Don’t get me wrong, that stuff is fun and festive and I’m not suggesting we reject it outright. What I am wondering is this: what do we do at Christmas that really reflects the change-the-world reality of Christ’s birth?
I stumbled onto a website that posed the following thoughts: “When we celebrate a birthday, we are careful to give what the person really wants or needs. Is there any doubt what Jesus wants from us? He insists that in order to give to him, we must find him in the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the imprisoned.” http://www.simpleliving.org/indexoth.php?place=archives/XB/XB_XBGift.php (accessed December 3, 2007).
I’m gonna stick with this rethinking Christmas theme for the next week or so and maybe we can put our heads together and figure out what it would look like to celebrate Jesus’ birthday as Jesus would have us do.
In the meantime, if you’re looking to actually give a birthday gift or two to Jesus this year, then you can be assured that when you give it to any of those that Jesus lists in Matthew 25, you are giving it directly to Him.