The Advent season is a wonderful time of year. Even if one does not remember, know, or care about the story behind the celebration, there is a sense of wonder and celebration. Kids of all ages fall victim to the idea of giving, celebration, and best of all receiving. Given the mythology behind the particular time of year and the convenient adaptation of events that occurred later in the spring, I find myself musing on the possibilities of what life would be like it we made the celebration open and accessible to all.
What would Christmas be like if we focused on the principles of family and celebrating the spirit of unconditional giving?
What would Christmas be like if we celebrated the fact that we are all part of a family that treasures commitment, sacrifice for others, and service?
What would Christmas be like if the symbols were universally accepted as truth instead of a particular branch, institution, or belief system?
I love imaging Christmas as one with celebration as we are, members of God's family. Courtesy would always come first! Patience would be unending! Selflessness would be a shared norm! Somebody, anyone would know that help was within her or his reach. Somebody, everyone would know that he or she was not going to be forgotten, abused, or left behind. Somebody, including you and I, would feel God's embrace.
It is an illusive dream. I find myself drifting into the scene and then finding myself in reality. I sense an embrace only to wake alone, longing for the sense of being together once again. Even in the midst of the storm clouds that haunt your life and mine, I remember and hold onto promise of that great celebration; “a great roundup of flocks from the nomads in Kedar and Nebaioth, welcome gifts for worship at my altar as I [God] bathe my glorious Temple in splendor.” (Isaiah 60.7)
I awake and realize today can be the first day of an eternal celebration. It starts with God, you, and me. It does not need to end.
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