Hello, and welcome to Beyond the Pew! Christmas is here and many of us are very busy! We all have wonderful Christmas traditions, but in the midst of all the craziness and busyness we tend to forget what Christmas is really about. Christmas is really more than just about a birth.
To illustrate this I want to tell a story. A few weeks ago I played a Bible game with some of my junior high girls and I put up on the screen, “True or false: Jesus was placed in a feeding trough after he was born.” The girls said, “I know He was placed in a manger, but what’s a feeding trough?” One of the girls said she raised pigs and told them a feeding trough is like a box they eat out of. It’s really gross! They slobber, they poop and pee all over it. It’s really nasty. And I explained, YES! A manger is a feeding trough and they were shocked. They had this image of Jesus in a manger with some hay and a pillow, and that’s just not what happened. He was placed in a box full of animal spit and feces. This is really important for us to remember. Jesus, the God of the universe, the starbreather, the one who created galaxies that we have yet to discover, so desired to come close to us that He lowered Himself in such a way that He became dependent on another human, Mary, and allowed Himself to be placed in a place that’s the lowest of the low.
He did this just for us! Just to be close to us and to know us. And to eventually save us when He dies on the cross. He allows Himself to come into the world unnoticed. This great, amazing God who knows every hair on our head comes into the world meek and humble. That’s what we’re celebrating this Christmas!
He humbles Himself to love us, so He calls us to humble ourselves to love Him.
The humility of God and this great love that doesn’t make sense, love that defines reason that we can’t understand. That’s what we’re celebrating. A radical kind of love. Jesus is trying to show us how to then love Him in a radical way. He humbles Himself to love us, so He calls us to humble ourselves to love Him.
The truth is we need to be talking about this with our kids! This needs to be the focus of our Christmas celebration. There are some things we can do with our family. The season of Christmas ends January 6th!
- One idea would be to just go out on a drive with your kids where you can see the stars. Bring blankets, hot chocolate, and look up at the stars and just have a conversation about how great God is and the galaxies He’s made. He knows every star in the sky and yet He came as a little baby. Have a conversation about God with your family!
- You can go Christmas caroling! Go to your neighbors and when you leave each house, ask them how you can pray for them. Gather some prayer intentions to take with you during the Christmas season.
- One thing my family does every year in addition to going to Christmas Day mass, is that every Christmas Eve my family gathers around the Christmas tree and we kneel in front of the manger. We reflect on the Nativity scene and pray together, thanking God for something that He did for us this year or a way that He loved us and we experienced His love. Just taking moments to thank Him for all of the things He’s done in our lives!
These things help us connect the radical love of God for us with the season of Christmas. I hope that your family finds ways to celebrate Christmas and celebrate Jesus’ great love, mercy, and sacrifice for us. I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas!