She climbed up on stage, a bright-eyed three-year-old, and said it so softly, full of wonder: “Jesus!” And it was all I could do not to cry. If only we all approached Christmas the same way: eyes wide open right up to the edge of the manger, peering into the face of God.
I’ve been asking it all season this year: what is Christmas all about anyway? Courage, the Spirit whispered in my ear. Christmas takes courage.
Ann Voskamp and A Charlie Brown Christmas taught me all about it yesterday:
The spirit of Christmas—is about not having a spirit of fear.
It was the very first lesson of Christmas: living courageously. The angel appeared to Mary and the shepherds—proclaiming both times, “Fear not!” Over 2,000 years later, we’re all gathering in churches and homes, all around the world, waiting to celebrate again that miraculous Thing that changed the world forever.
And we’ll never forget it, not til the end of time: that God so loved us all that God pulled on human skin and entered the world through the holiness of a woman, lowering Godself to save us from ourselves.
Jesus killed Death when he rose from the Tomb, and I’d argue that Fear is a form of Death, wouldn’t you? Jesus came and lived and died and rose again, so that we could live unhindered by all types of Death.
So, this Christmas—let’s live into the Spirit of Christmas. The one Ann Voskamp told us about:
Maybe the Christmas Spirit is letting go—to let the Spirit move.
Maybe the Christmas Spirit—is about letting the Spirit heal you.
Maybe the Christmas Spirit—means: Reconcile for Christmas.
This Christmas, let’s let it all fly into the face of Fear and reconcile—to each other, to ourselves, to the Church and God.