This is the Editorial for this Week’s Tecumseh Tribune…..
Christmas is finally upon us. All of the hustle and bustle is near over. Although, I suspect that there are still a few of you out there picking up those last-minute items. I loathe shopping. I really get agitated and aggravated when I am in a mall or shopping plaza. I really dislike the whole messy process at any time of year, but most especially right before Christmas. Thank God for the internet and for small business owners here in Tecumseh. I will have to go to the mall at some point (hopefully by the time you are reading this I have already made that trip) but I will not be happy about it. Now I am not going all ‘bah humbug’ on you here. I think, in fact it is quite the opposite. I love the gift giving tradition. You see, I am a Priest. The market part of Christmas drives me a little crazy.
This Feast that we are about to celebrate is about the Prince of Peace. This time of year is rooted in the celebration of God who cares so much for us that becoming one with us was a no-brainer, even though it would mean great pain. When I see the hysteria that is the mall, I do not see much that is related to the Feast of Christmas. God come in the form of the Vulnerable Child. I think that we are called at Christmastime to seek to find the vulnerable child within us. We cannot purchase away our fears or worries or insecurities. Christmas allows us to embrace the promise that God is to be found in our weakness and vulnerability. I am hoping to be able to see with new eyes the face of Child Jesus in those who do not ‘have it all together.’ I am hoping to come to understand that the Light of Christ came to us in an unexpected way, time, and place. There was no Martha Stewart to set the table, put on the right table cloth, make certain the dinner is perfect, the gift wrap is perfect, warm the house with the perfect hearth, have the perfect Christmas photo, seek to make the family as perfect as possible, etc. Instead it was; no room, pregnant virgin, cattle dung, hay, cold surroundings, and a refugee family with nowhere to go and with no place to call their own. It was far from perfect! Yet, that moment delivered ‘Perfect Love’ to us. Christmas is not about the perfect image that is sold to us. My advice to you this Christmas? At this point, whatever is done, is done! Forget about the stress of getting ready. Now focus on people, relationships, and time together. Go to church and celebrate the birth of Jesus. And know this, that even if it things are not perfect – Emmanuel – God is with us! Have a Merry and Happy Christmas.
I loathe the whole commercial jostling of Christmas shopping too. So I do not do it, or I do as little as possible. I buy birthday presents for three friends. I like to contribute money to good causes or to collections for a group gift to someone special. Christmas was never a good experience for me growing up. I love the services at St. Mark’s. I was moved almost to tears by the Messiah sung at Assumption (with our own Bob and Dave H. in the chorus) I treasure time spent with friends and that for me is what Christmas is all about.
Kevin, You are fun and lovely as always. And I totally agree that concentration should be on family and friends…. relationships. Gift giving is just an art of expression of love. A host to say “I am thinking about you” but what we say and do are the most important.