Subtitle: A reflection for the 7th day of the Christmas season
During the twelve days of the Christmas season, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus; the one who signifies a reunion of humanity and divinity, a reconciliation of what is and what is meant to be. As a beloved carol proclaims, Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
The meaning of Christmas, for me, lies not in whether it’s real, whether it actually happened (although, yes, I believe it did!), but rather in whether it’s true. That is, whether it points to something that matters to us and helps us to make sense of what it is to be alive in this world.
Therefore, the meaning of the Christmas story, for me, lies not only in who Jesus is, but also in what Jesus represents to us and for us about us.
Christmas proclaims not only that in Jesus there is peace (and that he is peace), but also points to our human destiny and legacy that peace is to be born in us. That we are to be no longer torn apart, ripped asunder, estranged from ourselves. That every aspect of our lives is to be connected to and with every other aspect of our lives. That our choices of what and who we let into our lives and, yes, what and who we keep out, match who we are.
Do we ever get it right? Do we ever arrive at the perfection of an unerring consistency and constancy between our being and our beliefs and between our beliefs and our behavior – what we think and feel, say and do? No, I don’t think so. At least, I haven’t achieved such a state of rightness, indeed, righteousness.
But that, too, is not the point. What matters is whether we are mindful that peace is the point and, thus, all of our choosing and counting proclaims whether we are at peace with God and the creation, with others and ourselves.
What do we choose? What do we count? Does it mirror, match who we are? Or do we live our lives on a first come, first served basis, saying, “I wish I had room”?
© 2020 PRA
Endnote: Hark! the herald angels sing! (1739); words by Charles Wesley (1707-1788)