25 December 2009

Christmas... looking like this

Originally uploaded by Odessea
Some say that Christmas should be met with barbecues and prawns, with beach side esky parties and shorts and thongs. That's the way we do it in Australia. But for many up north, this scene is more like they imagine. It's Christmas if it's snowing and cold. Culture is a funny thing. Irving Berlin, a Jew, wrote "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" no doubt with such a scene in mind. Tree tops glisten. No sleigh bells in this MOMA shot, though.

Others make Christmas into some shopping extravaganza with ribbons and boxes and all-night wrappings to make little ones happy when they awaken, way too early on this morning. The snow is designed to calm people, but little ones with trees and hopes for reward for being nice, not naughty, well it's too much for young ones.

Presents and trinkets, tinsel on the tree and merchandising. So much goes into making the holidays, the yuletide bright.

Or does it?

What about those millions of Christians all around the globe for whom a one-time shopping experience at our mall would be unbearable. They have never seen such arenas of salesmanship. They have never had that much money in their life, which we might drop in a single spree. Those who live in sub-Saharan Africa or in country China or India, who are surviving, and barely that. They however, are very happy this time of year.

Seems they know that Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Seems they have their priorities straight.

So is Christmas about the prawns or the poor? Is it about the presents or the perspective? Don't get me wrong. I love what my wife and kids got me today. Thanks everyone! And all the while, I know, and so do they, that life is more than presents and more than tinsel. It's about family and love and the greatest gift of all.... God's gift of life in Jesus.

That's what Christmas should look like. And hey, if it helps, enjoy the snow. All of it in NYC last weekend, or in London or in Kansas.... all good.

But even then, don't miss it. It's more than weather. Life is about whether or not you have found the Eternal One.

Merry Messiah-mas.

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