What is the point of a holiday? Is it just to have a day (or a week) off from work or school? Is it just to spend time with distant relatives you never spend time with otherwise? Is it just to kick back, have fun, and watch the big game?
Or is it something more?
There’s a line in ‘Rocky‘ that illustrates this point perfectly. Rocky Balboa goes on a date with a girl he likes (Adrian), on Thanksgiving. He’s completely oblivious to that fact, though. Adrian even explicitly points out that it’s a special day, but Rocky responds, “To you, it’s Thanksgiving. To me, it’s Thursday.”
Think about that…
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Tagged birth of Jesus, Christmas, holiday events, Jesus Christ, meaning of Christmas, political correctness, Rocky Balboa, thanksgiving, War on Christmas
But if you were to ask a random group of people what they “love” about Christmas (the day AND the season), you’d probably get answers ranging from giving/receiving gifts, to time off from work, to spending time with family.
And while those things can certainly be gratifying, there’s no question that they are also ephemeral by their very nature:
- Your ‘shake weight‘ now resides in the back of a closet somewhere, waiting for the day when you “get around to using it…”,
- You DID go back to work, …or you will soon,
- And the family, eventually, puts away the Christmas decorations, and goes back to the daily and weekly routines.
Yet there IS one Christmas gift which never loses its beauty, and is the greatest “gift” of all time:
God’s gift of His Son.
It doesn’t matter
if the snow was falling
fierce or lazily or not at all.
The sinless Son of God
was bright enough without that pall.
Thought we’d share some holiday-ish humor for everyone today… Hope you enjoy the following cartoons.
Merry Christmas, gang!!!
—JTR and GBL
At the end of another hectic week (and I still haven’t started my Christmas cards), here’s another one of my Advent readings. I find the shepherds to be especially poignant. I imagine them wistful, wondering what it would be like to be part of a larger community, to be “in the know”. They’re always out-of-town, out of touch, out of the loop. No one tells them anything.
Which makes it so delightfully kind of the Lord to tell them the Good News first–and let them tell everyone else. (***If you’d like to read more about the historic shepherds and why they were such unlikely recipients of the greatest newsflash ever, check out this article at Livebold.com.)
I wrote Advent Longings because I wanted to hear the Biblical voices still waiting, those patient faithful souls waiting without any clear idea of hope being fulfilled. As we wait here in the between-time, looking for our Lord’s second coming, may their voices fill us with new hope.
Happy third Sunday of Advent!
By the end of the day today (Sunday) I will have supervised eleven hours of Living Nativity drama, performed by over 50 different actors (not all at once!) over a space of two and a half days. The four scenes took audiences of 50 people (maximum) at a time on a 20-minute journey through Bethlehem. If all goes well, a couple of thousand people will get to see one of the 60 performances.
But of course it’s not all about the numbers, even if as writer/director/producer I’ve been fixated on that–and on the logistics of making it work and keeping it on schedule.
It’s really about getting inside the experiences of 2,000 years ago and recapturing the wonder and significance of the Christmas story. And that’s really what we should be doing during the Advent season every year. Fortunately, we don’t need to do anything as ambitious as mounting a Living Nativity to accomplish that.