I get so excited about Christmas! It’s my favourite holiday of the year. It’s a time of joy, family, way too much good food and lights. I like Christmas because of the happy atmosphere. You make just a little more effort to look nice and it’s just wonderful to read cards, go to church and spend time with loved ones. Overall, Christmas is great.
Yet Christmas is also a painful reminder of the world we live in. A world that is in pain. A world that is broken. Brokenness in the large sense of the world when I think about the big issues like climate change, consumerism, war, terrorism, polarisation, discrimination and I could go on and on… But also brokenness in families, loved ones that are sick, jobs that are lost and fights between friends. Christmas is the time where you try to not think about those issues for a bit. You hide them away under a warm fluffy blanket or forget about them with a glass or two of your preferred alcoholic beverage. You smile, make small talk with that cousin you normally never see and you chew your way through your mother’s Christmas roast. You pretend that the cold, dark world outside is taking a break. No one dies. No one gets hurt.
But Christmas is hopeful. It is about Jesus coming to this world to give Himself to us. Each of us. Not because Jesus was like ‘o men, that world is doing so fantastic, let’s go there’, but because of the brokenness and pain. Because the only way to save us, was by becoming a real human being and going through the pain. You know how we always say to someone going through heart ache that you will never be able to truly understand it, unless you have experienced it yourself? That’s what Jesus did. He experience life. All of it. Starting from the very, very beginning. As a refugee. Not welcoming in the 4-star hotel or cheap hostel. But born in what could have been the dirty laundry corner in the back of the hotel parking garage. Nothing romantic about it. Nothing warm and peaceful.
Yet Jesus came, to give life and hope. The question is what we do with that gift. Do we wrap it carefully and look at the pretty Christmas packaging for two days? Or do we dare to open the gift and spread the hope beyond the two days of Christmas? Because Christmas is essentially about those 363 other days in the year. We might be able to keep the peace and prevent the brokenness for two days, but we surely aren’t able to keep the peace alive by ourselves the other days of the year. I need Jesus. His arms spread wide in love, but also crying and the cuteness of a little baby.
I wish you all a very Blessed Christmas. Spread the hope today, tomorrow and every day of the next year to come.