The Christmas season is here and folks all over the world are in various stages of preparation. There is excitement as we put up trees, lights and decorations of all kinds. Retail stores in the United States brace for the Christmas rush which began in October. People scurry to buy all the right presents that will demonstrate their love for humankind and family.
We are told this is the most important holiday of the year. We certainly live like it is the most important event in Christendom. The season brings a variety of activities: Court battles over manger scenes, dueling Christmas pageants and singing of Christmas carols. Families will fight over whose home to go to and fret over not having enough money to do Christmas “right.”
Yes, we in Christendom play this holiday as “the Christ event.” Yet, I think we have it just a little backward. Shouldn’t all this energy and goodwill be spent on what we know as Easter? After all if there is no resurrection — then Christmas is just another birthday.
I am not saying Christmas is not important or that it should not be celebrated. But I wonder if we truly have lost sight of the “Christ event” and its impact.
Jesus crucified and resurrected brings about, for us, an understanding of Jesus as Messiah, therefore we are created anew. That, my friends, is the “Christ event.”
Maybe it’s all how we will view this season that will bring true peace. Maybe if we view Christmas as the beginning of a life that would give himself totally and unconditionally to God so that we might have life in a state of grace. Then we will have gotten to the guts of “Peace on Earth, goodwill to humanity.”
Editor-in-Chief of Whosoever and Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church of Atlanta, Rev. Paul M. Turner grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994, have been in a committed partnership since the early 1980’s and have been legally married since 2015.