As I write this, I sit in the living room of the house where I spent most of my youth. My kids–adult as they are now–will be here in an hour. My parents are here. My extended family. It’s cold outside as it clearly should be at Christmas. There’s a fire in the fireplace. Very idyllic.
And this isn’t what Christmas is about. Christmas is actually about the birth of Jesus. It’s about God reaching out to be with us and to try to make it easier for us to be with him. And this is a wonderful message–whether you’re a Christian or atheist or neither.
We live in a world very short on grace. And I don’t mean the grace of dealing with adverticity with class.
I mean we live in a world where 140 characters is all you need to know about people. Where meaning is applied by the masses and context is immaterial. Where stupidity and hypocrisy are the sins from which there is no redemption.
But that’s exactly the message that we get today. It’s about love, to be sure, but a love so blind that it overlooks all, if we accept it. That’s the magic of Christmas.
It’s a love that’s hard, for some, to accept. And hard for all of us to extend, because the hurt is real when we’re disappointed. Because we’re finite. Because in order to love others, you have to take care of yourself.
This isn’t a call for us to love those who abuse us. But it is a suggestion, starting with me first, to step back before dropping the heavy hand of modern 140-character judgement on people.
They probably don’t deserve that break. I know I don’t. But that’s what today’s about.
It’s not about striving to be perfect, but doing your best. Rolling the dice every day and then showing grace to people who don’t deserve it, starting with the person in the mirror every morning.