It’s late afternoon on December 25th, 2006 and my mind is wondering about this celebration we call Christmas.
I have always believed that traditonally we celebrated Christmas to remember the birth of Jesus.
We raised our kids this way.
I remember, lo those many years ago, walking into a bank in West Jefferson, North Carolina with my five year old daughter. It was pre Christmas and a kind lady approached us and asked my daughter if she was excited to see Santa Claus. Jessica, 5 at the time, informed the lady that she didn’t believe in Santa Claus but believed in Jesus.
The lady’s jaw dropped and it got all quiet in the bank. We did our business and left.
People didn’t know what to do with us because we took Christianity seriously. For many years we didn’t do a tree because pagans used to worship the fertility gods in groves of green fir trees.
Halloween was out as well and Easter bunnies…well you get the point.
I was a writer for a twice weekly newspaper and always did the research for articles during all of our traditional holiday seasons. Or at least I thought I did. I mean look what happened to the American Indian after that first Thanksgiving. They are on reservations, own casino’s and haven’t seen a buffalo in many, many moons.
Don’t get me wrong…I like Christmas—I think it is a great holiday. It is just that I don’t think it really has a whole lot to do with Jesus anymore. We used to read the bible stories and pray for those in need and say special prayers for those family members we couldn’t be with during the Christmas season.
But it’s kinda like I told my kids many years ago—we celebrate His birth and death every day that we focus on what He did for us and as we try to walk out our lives in a relationship with Him. In other words, His birth was very special. But the whole act of commuion is a celebration of His death and resurrection not His birth.
His true birth was probably late August or early September…but that’s just stirring things up don’t you think?
I am clearly on a quest to find out more about the Jesus that I say I believe in.
The holiday we call Christmas is observed by many who are far from being Christians. That’s not a bad thing. Let’s just not fool ourselves into thinking that it is really any more than what it is.
I certainly can’t tell you how to celebrate this time of year and don’t want you telling me how it should be done either.
What I am feeling however is this: I truly want to dig deeper into what I think I believe and why I do the things I do. After all, the examined life is really a part of why we are here in the first place.
It’s like seed time and harvest—a cycle that repeats itself as long as the sun still rises.
Is this a bump in the road—a detour—a fork in the road—or just slightly off the beaten path.
I don’t know at this point…only time will tell what kind of ride this has been.