Friday, December 24, 2010

::joyeux noel twenty-ten

This year, it's been something of a challenge to avert the inevitable Scrooge Moments.

When I was able to transcend them, I managed to compose the following reflection, and subsequently read it at my church's Christmas concert.

Tonight, I'm reading it again at CrossPointe Community Church, performing alongside my friends Kim and Paul.

This is most certainly a first, but I do enjoy finding new methods of celebration for annual holidays, preserving the festivities with freshness.

Happy Christmas to you all.

Grand Entrance

On the fourth Thursday of November, we celebrate the discipline of gratitude, expressing thanks for the bounty that we have…and the very next morning, we frantically scurry about in search of what we do not have.

We must locate the perfect object that will express what our words cannot, or perhaps the most current and sought-after novelty, designed to make our pulses race and our endorphins sparkle.

Churches adopt the rhyming marquee slogan, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Preachers wax philosophical about postmodern culture, admonishing Americans for our shameless and frenetic greed, asking catchphrase questions like, “What crowds the Christ out of your Christmas?”

I no longer wonder why, every year, I simultaneously cherish and dread the highly commercialized and increasingly garish “holiday season.”

But the "Good News of Great Joy, which shall be for all people," is this:

Jesus Christ presents a God who plunges headlong into the fray; pushed from the helix of a teenage girl's body into a microcosm of beauty and terror.

He senses how we have, for centuries, desperately craved the tactile sensation of a Deity we could touch.

The Life who created the very idea of Life, Sculptor of synapses and capillaries, embodied the very flesh inside of which we squirm and ache and cry for restoration.

He inhabited our own bittersweet environs, tantalized by all manner of momentary bliss, afforded every opportunity for dysfunction and self-destruction, only to endure the agony of ultimate ruin.

He redeems what is tarnished and mends all that is broken, but never without knowing, in the most intimate dimension, what it is to be utterly undone.

Here is a God who boldly declares that we are both lovable and loved, precisely for who and what we are, and dares us to do what is both brave and heartbreaking: believe Him.

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