Wow Cathy i like your riddle behind the true meaning and experience of Christmas. Reflecting on your thoughts, i think Christ would not have wanted us not to share the presents and gifts we so dearly bestow on those around us. But that we might spend part of our year connecting to those who did not experience this joy. So that we may share the joy we experience during 2006. Renewed and renewed.
I think we learn to do this through looking at Mary's life. Reflection and acting. How did she do it? Hidden yet present in the melody of God's creation. Always waiting, listening, responding ... but this is so hard in this crazzy world. Feelings and motivations can often pull us apart.
Christmas for me is a time when i want to put things back together. News Years Day is really December 25th, a celebration and love of a memory past, yet being present for 1 day in a Christmas hope of a future. The day that stands still when joy floods in for some, and we refresh in thanking God for good things.
: : Well, here we are in the hectic last week
: before Christmas. Of course, many
: Christians express concern about the
: commercialization of Christmas, and about
: the danger that we'll get so caught up in
: all the hurly-burly that we'll forget the
: true meaning of this great feast. Some even
: suggest that, instead of spending money on
: buying our nearest and dearest trinkets that
: they probably don't need, we support one of
: those charitable schemes whereby we make a
: donation in some-one's name in lieu of
: giving them a present.
: Of course, for Christians, Christmas will
: always mean primarily the birth of Jesus.
: However, I think that we may still be
: suffering the effects of puritanism and
: similar movements of the last few centuries,
: and perhaps an important point is being
: missed. Surely, to celebrate such a
: significant and joyful event, we should feel
: free to “let our hair down”, and
: wholeheartedly enjoy all the feasting and
: As for presents, who cares what’s in those
: tantalising, brightly-wrapped parcels under
: the tree? I get as much of a thrill opening
: them as I did when I was five! This is one
: of the things I love about Christmas – those
: of us who are “kids at heart” can really
: come into our own!
: After all, according to John’s Gospel,
: Jesus’ first miracle was not doing something
: sensible and necessary, but consisted of
: changing water into wine at a wedding feast!
: Judging by the steward’s comment that this
: wine had been left ‘til last, the guests
: must have already been fairly “tanked up”,
: so it wasn’t even as if there had been a
: real shortage of the beverage.
: Of course, the wedding banquet is a common
: biblical image for the reign of God. The
: point I am making is that, for Christians, I
: think the significance of Christmas
: festivity is that it can give us a sense of
: the abundance and unbridled joy of God’s
: Kingdom, and it gives us a chance to
: experience this with the pure, open-hearted
: delight of a child – reflecting what Jesus
: said about children and the Kingdom.
: I wish you, Kevin, and all visitors to your
: web-site, a Christmas filled with the
: abundance, happiness and peace of God’s
: Kingdom, and a new year in which we all
: continue to work towards its coming.