The Contrasts of Christmas
Dear Trinity Members and Friends,
The story of Christmas, as we tell it to one another year after year, is one of the most compelling in literature: a suspicious pregnancy, a remorseful but caring spouse, an unwanted journey at the darkest time of the year, and the necessity of giving birth in substandard accommodations. Then there is light in the dark sky, angels singing, shepherds visiting, the magi approaching. There are all the contrasts one could wish: tension, darkness, suspicion, and deprivation giving way to God’s gift to humanity, the joy of a birth in Bethlehem.
We live in a world of sharp contrasts as well–that between the prosperity of some and the poverty of many, between the generosity we often experience and the selfishness we often observe, between health and illness, between optimism and despair, between vision and short-sightedness. Christmas gives us hope that we may address such contrasts more effectively through our assurance of God’s love made vivid in his gift of the Christ.
Some gift! Every time we trim a Christmas tree, that is the gift that enables us to enjoy all the others. Every time we give a gift to one another, it is the gift of the Christ Child that inspires our love and generosity. Every time we resolve to address inequity and prejudice, it is Christ who is our model. And every time we say “Merry Christmas,” we are sharing what we will celebrate on Christmas Eve and on Christmas morning, a merry Christ’s Eucharist, a merry Christ’s mass. It’s Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Thanks be to God,
The Rev. Paul L. Gaston