One of my favorite books is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. (http://xmasfun.com/stories/Grinch/Text.asp) The moral of Dr. Seuss’s story is, of course, that Christmas is about more than presents and food. Christmas is about being together as family, friends, neighbors, people. It is about being in community and celebrating the relationships that we hold most dear.
For Christians, all of that is good, but our story is so much bigger. For us, Christmas is about:
- Faith that light overcomes darkness.
- That poverty in our country is not a hopeless problem.
- That violence and killing are not a necessary part of living in community.
- That discrimination and exclusion are not the right of the privileged and powerful.
Christmas is about:
- Hope that beginnings follow endings and new life follows death.
- Hope that we can make our world a better place, but we have to start with ourselves.
- Hope that peace is possible if we can just learn to share with one another.
- Hope that we one day actually believe that we are brothers and sisters in Christ.
Christmas is about:
- A love that loves enough to suffer.
- Love that transforms, heals, and makes new.
Christmas is about Jesus Christ, who came as a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, to show us love as we had never seen it before. You cannot have Christmas without Christ.
That is why we gather together, year after year, telling and retelling this amazing story. There is a magic in this story that touches on the core of the human experience. Christmas calls us home. Through the stories and hymns, we begin to remember who we are and whose we are. We remember what life is really about. We remember why we need one another. It seems to me that, if Christmas is about anything, it is about this: giving and receiving unconditional, undeserved, unbounded love.
I hope this is true for you today.
We are all in this together,
Rev. Cameron Trimble
The Center for Progressive Renewal