What I’m Thinking: A Christmas of First Principles

This is not the Christmas we’d asked for. It is a Christmas of first principles: love for one another, and God’s love for us.

Here’s a transcript:

It will shortly be Christmas Eve. It will shortly be Christmas Day, so I’m thinking about the second chapter of Luke (Luke 2:1-20).

“While they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. She gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.”

This is not the Christmas of my childhood. It is not the Christmas of my children’s childhoods. It is not the Christmas that any of us have asked for. It is the Christmas that we have.

It is the Christmas that we have that casts us back on first principles, what is important, what does in fact promote life and health and love. What does that?

Well it is care for one another, care expressed in these days with distance even as we yearn to be together and to embrace. This Christmas Eve we will light candles. And I encourage you, as you are taking part through the Internet in our Christmas Eve service at 7 o’clock on Thursday night – I encourage you to have a candle to hand, something to light to chase away the night.

But we will not be together. We will not have that increasing glow of candlelight to fill our sanctuary at Church of the Holy Cross. We shall have to fall back on first principles:

  • Of a father and mother giving birth at some distance from their home,
  • At an entire region that had been disordered by this sudden requirement that all the world be registered, enrolled for taxes,
  • Sudden singing on a hillside to people of whom no one thought, for whom very few cared (probably no one even troubled to see that they were included in the registration),
  • Angel song heard by shepherds,
  • Wondering next to a feeding trough holding a child of poverty, but a child of such surpassing richness that we see salvation in that child.

This is not the Christmas to which we are accustomed. It is not the Christmas we have asked for. It is the Christmas of First Principles, of love and care for one another and for Christ; of love and care expressed to us by God through Christ; of love and care that are a single candle in the night: a flickering flame but one that no evil has ever put out.

Friends, I wish you a very Blessed Christmas, this Christmas of First Principles.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Program Note: With Pastor Eric on vacation following Christmas, the next What I’m Thinking will premiere on January 11, 2021.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , | Posted on December 21, 2020

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