I woke up this morning and realized that I have had Christmas backwards all these years. Up, till now it has been about preparations, and planning for the big day. Family comes together and the staging is set. When the day arrives, we share gift and stories and a great deal of joy, and then it is over. Along with it's end leaves the invitation to be a bit kinder to each other, more patient and more forgiving.
But what are we celebrating?
Jesus didn't show up to say that everything was awesome. Even if I take up the Christian story of Jesus, the big boss doesn't send in a supervisor because things are going well. The supervisor shows up when there is a problem. And the supervisor's arrival doesn't signal the end of the work, but the beginning.
Today, I am taking up a new vision of Christmas, where Christmas marks he beginning of something, not the culmination of months of preparation. To me, the message Jesus brought was about the true nature of Love and that it is our human responsibility to care for one another. Rather than the end, Christmas day will be the start of another opportunity to live more fully in the message of Love and caring, sacrifice and commitment. Today, I pledge to take up this message. I will Love more, care more, and work harder not to be distracted by fear and judgment and doubt.