There’s no snow in Africa this Christmas or, Some thoughts on Christmas

So I have a confession to make, and it’s an embarrassing one, so go ahead and get your mocking pants ready: I totally cried in the car today listening to “Do they know it’s Christmas?”. What can I say? That Bono is a sneaky evil one. I’ve just been thinking about the point of Christmas over the last couple days, and the thought of people being hungry and cold and “not having” (along with all those manipulative major chords) got me a bit teary.

I’m in the middle of an incredibly good book right now called The Jesus of Suburbia: Have We Tamed the Son of God to Fit Our Lifestyle?
by Mike Erre. He’s a pastor, and he posits that as a culture we have “tamed” Jesus, making Him into a nice man who gives us everything we want and makes us safe and happy, rather than seeing Him for who He really is- a revolutionary who will completely and utterly upheave and reconstruct your life if you let Him. You all know I’m a sucker for revolution, (viva!) and this book is seriously fantastic- it’s refocusing how I see Christ and my relationship with Him. I’m not quite finished with it yet, but I highly recommend it. And it’s on clearance right now at Amazon. (Brandy and Hilary, don’t bother going and getting copies, I already ordered them for you. 🙂 )

One of the things he points out though is that to a large degree we’ve lost a sense of wonder and awe about Christ. He’s become so commonplace that we forget the majesty. We forget what it must have meant for Him to condescend to take a mortal body and walk among us. We forget the magnitude of His gifts to us. I’ve been pondering that, and it led me to this thought while I was thinking that Zoe and Audrey are getting a metric TON of presents this year:

I want them to get tons of presents. I want them to feel bounty and abundance and overwhelmed with the generosity of someone who loves them. It doesn’t matter if they think that someone is me or Bruce or a jolly fat man riding around on a sleigh giving presents because he loves Jesus so much that that is how he chooses to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. (That’s how we explain Santa. Except we don’t call him fat. That’s just courting the bad list.) I want them to feel the wonder and awe, because I want them to have a glimpse of what it feels like, so that when they learn about all the gifts of Christ, maybe they’ll remember.

And speaking of gifts from Christ, how often do we take stock and realize that we’ve received so many gifts, so many blessings, that some have ended up stuck on a shelf and forgotten about? Do we remember our own bounty, our own spiritual abundance? Do we share it? Do we share our physical abundance? Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

2 thoughts on “There’s no snow in Africa this Christmas or, Some thoughts on Christmas

  1. Justin on

    Oh how I love this post Maryanne! And thank you for your generosity with the book! I really look forward to reading it. I’ve been thinking a little bit about this topic lately too. We had a RS night recently where a bunch of us performed the songs/narrations of “Women at the Well”. Usually I’m not into these things very much, but they asked me to sing, so I did. It was a great experience. That night a women in our ward sang the song, “He Came for Me”. She was a great singer, which helped, and I believed what she was singing. Anyway, I was really struck (brought to tears) when she sang,
    He had come, King of all Kings
    Ruler of Worlds
    For His other sheep
    I felt His hands
    I touched His feet
    I’ll forever rejoice
    He came for me
    What struck me was the King of all Kings, Ruler of Worlds part. It sounds lame, but I really felt a testimony of the truthfulness of those words. That he is both of those things and he also came for ME. Anyway, I just wanted to share that. Love you.

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