When Christmas is at the Door…..
Only 3 days until Christmas and in reading the rest of Adam Hamilton’s book, Faithful, Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph, I am reminded that as we who have much, are doing last minute things to prepare for the special day, we must remember I Peter 5:5 NRSV that tells us, “God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble”. (Faithful, p.110)
Humility is not the first word that comes to mind when you say the word “Christmas” to people. Memories, family, snow, trees with ornaments, joy, peace, love, hope….
These things and words are more often on our lips, without even a moment of thought. Hamilton’s reminder of the cave, the shepherds, the whole lack of majestic grandeur in the event of Jesus’ birth that night speaks, humility. It gives us pause of who Jesus wanted us to see that he and God were; let alone how we should be, if following in God’s pathway. God, if having a birthday party, would invite the homeless and the hungry and not necessarily the comfortable and well fed. Yet, all people can have pause and say a prayer of thanks, as the messengers God sent to tell the shepherds of the area; that the Savior was born that day. Said that the news was for all people and that it was not just good, but news of great joy.
This Christmas is only a few days away, but no matter what, there is time to think of how you will incorporate an act and attitude of humility and giving, in the name of our Lord, and with the grace God showed then, and ever since, towards us all.
Small things make a difference too. Do not try to change the world, just change yourself and your own world one step and one day at a time! How about packing two lunches today and handing one to a person who is on the street? How about looking at one of the gifts you were going to give someone else ….or yourself…and unexpectedly giving it away? How about going to the yard of your neighbor who is now too old to decorate and just putting a few ornaments in the bush or tree near the entrance, with a nice card in the door? If you live where need is not seen, how about going 5 minutes in your car to somewhere else, look around 5 minutes and see someone you think has a need, pull up and say, “Merry Christmas” and hand them a $10 bill. You do not need to get out, give anything else up, or be afraid. Be careful in choosing where you are, of course, but there are many a place and many a person that could use someone to show unexpected love. God showed us unexpected love with the birth of Christ Jesus. Yes, the Messiah was expected to come at some point, but not necessarily that day, certainly not in that way, and not for all people. Yet, God loves us all…so go share that in a humble way and rejoice. Giving like God gives, will bring you the joy that Christmas is all about and will make you feel like you just held a new born baby in your own arms.
Joseph, earthly care-taker of Jesus and his mother, Mary, was humble, dutiful, and loving. There is no doubt there. Joseph gives all people an example of humility in caring for others, not just our own. Think of Joseph, men and women of the world! Hamilton tells that he knows “the joy of God’s grace and love” and that he is a grateful servant of God. How about you and me too?