I’m not sure what follows can be called Christmas gifts, exactly. They’re not. Unless … unless, words, ideas, and hopes can be gifts that point us to what is real, lasting, and true. And since I believe that the best gifts are not usually the ones under the tree, here are five different “gifts” that speak to me, just in time for Christmas. Maybe they’ll speak to you, too.
“Despite our efforts to keep him out, God intrudes. The life of Jesus is bracketed by two impossibilities: a virgin’s womb and an empty tomb. Jesus entered our world through a door marked No Entrance and left through a door marked No Exit.” Peter Larson
Is it all sewn up–my life?
Is it at this point so predictable
that I don’t have time or space
for listening for the rustle of angels’ wings
or running to stables to see a baby?
Could this be what he meant when he said
Listen, those who have ears to hear…
Look, those who have eyes to see?
O God, give me the humbleness of those shepherds
who saw in the cold December darkness
the Coming of Light
the Advent of Love!
“To Listen, To Look” – Anne Weems
Where, O where is the child we seek?
In the stories of the aging,
In the kick of the unborn,
In the eyes of the homeless,
In the hearts of the broken.
“The Three Kings” – Simeon Swinger
The last two “gifts” are links you’ll have to click on to “unwrap.” One, is a Christmas song by Over the Rhine I heard for the first time just today. As Linford Detweiler sings, “I’ve committed every sin, and each one leaves a different scar. …I could use a Guiding Star.”
Finally, I loved this blog post that addresses the question, “What does Jesus want this Christmas?” His answer may surprise you, but I can’t help but think, deep down, he is right.