It’s Christmas time. And lots of words have been said and lots of ink has been spilled and lots of songs have been sung, all in the effort to herald in the magical, spiritual, wonderful, difficult debacle we call Christmas. Christmas, a delightful debacle. For what else could it be? It’s A Wonderful Disaster, not A Wonderful Life. Christmas came in the form of a new baby, warm and slippery, full of wonderful promise and we took Him in our arms and kissed His face and put Him under the tree and nailed our hearts to the door. And for centuries after, we piled presents under the altar of our hearts and we wondered why our hearts stopped beating. The baby was too big of a miracle. Too full of a magical beauty, that even though God stuffed it into a form He thought we could understand, a new-born baby, we missed the boat, we stepped off the Ark. And we drowned in a sea of ribbon and chocolate and credit card debt.
Each year, Christmas time rolls around again and we catch glimpses of the magic of the season. A snowflake. A sweet, childish voice singing in the back of the car. Your teenager getting excited about giving gifts to his younger siblings. A store clerk who gives your daughter the sixteen cents she’s short, so she can purchase a gift. It’s magical. It’s Christmas. And perhaps we can only take these small doses of wonderful because otherwise our hearts would break.
“…I come from the City of Destruction, but am going to Mount Zion, that I may be delivered from the Wrath to come; I would therefore, Sir, since I am informed that by this Gate is the Way thither, know if you are willing to let me in?”
Knock, knock. Let me in, Sweet Baby Jesus.