The Implications of Christmas – Christmas is the celebration of small things, particular things, and barely noticeable things. It is Jesus in a manger—and animal byre—the child who will grow into the voice of God that is heard around the world.
It is easy to get caught up in the magnificence of Jesus and so miss the simplicity of Jesus, the normalcy of Jesus, the invisibility of the Jesus who lives almost totally unseen, unheralded, for the first 30 years of his life. Just like us.
The implications of that reality, especially at a time like Christmas with all the gifts and glitter, all the great Christmas icons and triumphant hymns—cue trumpet, hit flashing lights, turn spotlights on angels—turn real life upside down. There weren’t any trumpets, the night was quiet and dark as pitch, no heavenly choir sang. It was moment of crisis, of abandonment, of loss, of total dependence of this little family. They knew too much of what the families of the world know yet, in fact.
This was a refugee family. They were homeless. In a highly communal society their survival depended on the hospitality and support of a stranger. That’s the real story. Where has it been for so long?
Maybe we’ve never wanted to face the implication of this birth, its social status, its neediness. Maybe it has been so well-masked that we have never realized the demands it makes on us.
It has implications for us now, for the world we’re in where we ourselves are turning refugees away in many of our countries. In these countries we see ourselves, First in wealth. First in power. First in prominence. First in isolation from the racial reality of our world—from the pain of all of it.
Isn’t it time to grow beyond the fairy tale spirituality and face our part in the drama? Aren’t we the missing people in the Christmas frieze, the people absent from the beggar’s birth, and the real deciders of what this birth will bring? At least in our own time. Now. Isn’t it time to realize that this birth is meant to change us all? To make us the bringers of a Merry Christmas to others.
Wishing each of you Christmas Blessings.
Jean, Molly and Pereka (UNANIMA International, December 2018)