I love the Christmas carol "O come, O Come Emmanuel" because it sums up Christmas for me. "O Come thou Rod of Jesse, free thine own from Satan's tyranny..." Many of us have felt that tyranny crushing our hopes and dreams and Christ's advent here amongst us is where we get the power to break free and live as we are created!
Maybe it's my Fundamentalist Evangelical roots showing, but I can relate to John the Baptist at this time of year far better than all the rest, especially those that spread commercial tinkling joy and lightness in Christ's name. I was reminded of all this in a very inspiring Sermon last Sunday by Rev. Jane Quandt at The First Congregational Church (UCC) in Riverside. John in his camel's hair, eating locusts and wild honey, standing up and hollering, "you generation of snakes..., make straight the paths of the Lord..., repent for the kingdom of God is at hand..." as he cleared the way for Jesus to come and shatter everyones ideas of what it would mean to have the King of the Kingdom of God here on Earth in the flesh! To me that is what Christmas is about.
If only the Evangelicals and Fundamentalists would listen to what they sing. They too could be free of the tyranny of their prejudice against those that are created different (but still in the image of God). We might discover what Christmas is really is about and become the family of God we are supposed to be.
On a more festive note, if anyone is in Southern California on the Saturday after Christmas - the 26th at 2 PM - Safe Haven Community Christian Church is hosting a traditional Christmas dinner in West Covina. You are invited, but you need to contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) to RSVP by the 20th so I can be sure to have enough. I am cooking again and (God willing) it is going to be yummy even if I say so myself.
I wonder if locusts and honey go well with stuffing... Actually It'll be apple pecan stuffing. (But just think of the texture - sort of sweet and crunchy - yum)!
I hope you do have a great Christmas - full of blessings and the Peace of God!