Maybe by this time in December you are starting to abandon some of your grand designs for Christmas and thinking about what actually needs to happen. What must I do before Christmas? Maybe you are lowering your expectations so that you can have a successful Christmas.
But what is a ‘successful’ Christmas? The word successful can mean different things to different people.
I got a holiday greeting this season from Congressman Charlie Crist. It was sent to me at the church. Here is the message on the card: “As your public servant, it is my goal to live by the Golden Rule. When we work together, and find common ground, we build a more successful world. I hope your holiday season is filled with love and joy.” The card is signed by Charlie Crist. [And paid for by Charlie Crist for Congress.] What is a more successful world? That can mean different things to different people. To some it may mean better schools and health care for everyone. To some it may mean fewer obstacles to business and profit. To some it may mean turning around global warming. A more successful world can mean many different things and I think we, as citizens and human beings, should be having conversations about what makes the world more successful; what a more successful world looks like. I think conversations of that nature among diverse people could be very illuminating.
As a Jesus follower, I am going to look to Jesus for ways to think about what it means to be successful and to build a more successful world though I don’t think he would use the word ‘successful.’
As for Christmas, Jesus was born. So Christmas has already been successful. And we didn’t have to do anything!
We are grateful for the birth of Jesus. Everything needed to make Christmas a time of joy and love has already happened. May our celebrations reflect what has already been given to us. May we follow Jesus and learn from him what it means to be fully human and build a loving, just, and peaceful world. Amen.