Christmas get togethers
Alan Hirsch said on Facebook, “I always wonder at this time of the year: what would someone who had no clue about the gospel conclude from their objective observations of what goes on at Xmas? How would they describe the ‘religion’ at the base of it?”
I have been thinking about this comment from Al Hirsch a lot in the past few days when our social life becomes maddeningly hectic with the inevitable Christmas parties and get togethers.
Friday night just gone we had a heap of couples over for dinner, some we see a lot of and others, well only once a year. It was great to catch up and even though we can do this anytime, and for us hospitality is a practise we celebrate daily, but it was or is the Christmas season that brought this group together.
This afternoon Flis and I went to the work T-mas party and there were gathered around the pools at QCCC about 50 people and their kids- people who work together in the same place, headed for the one goal every day, and yet we never get to stop and talk, meet and greet like we did today- at the Christmas party.
People have street parties and we will be going to one in Toowoomba this week where, we claim the bitumen and footpaths as our arena and people who never talk and don’t even know each other share a drink and eats in the middle of the street- because it’s Christmas.
I love the picture above showing a 1940 pic of a group of men getting fed a great meal and able to share in some deep stories, because of Christmas. I’ll never forget being with Earl Roberts in Sydney in Dec 87, around Christmas time, going from one Wesley Mission Christmas Dinner to another, filled with hundreds of people who were able to celebrate together in the midst of pain, trauma, and things I have and never will experience, but they could celebrate the birth of a feeble child who promises to make all things right one day.
How vulnerable and pathetic really, not to say audacious to bring a helpless baby into the world and tell us the government will be on his shoulders and that he is the Prince of Peace.
People got together back then, we are told in the scriptures, and celebrated, and it appears the Heavenly Host got more than a little fired up as well with the birth of this kid.
There are a lot of side tracks that can be taken at Christmas for sure and at one level if old mate from outer space came and looked on at the consumerist madness of the west- not just at Xmas but anytime, he could be forgiven for thinking it was one really weird cultish kind of gig.
But if our visitor left the shops and hovered around homes and some of the places we get to visit and see people just once a year, like the Forge get together in Melbourne last week, and hear the comments and joy that flows when people celebrate because of the birth of a kid called Jesus and because we humans do love to get together and party- ol mate might just get the distinct impression that celebrating this one life really does bring peace and joy and eternal life. Celebrate well this Christmas Season, enjoy and cherish relationships like your life depended on them-it may well.