Sunday, Dec 25; the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ

During one Christmas season years ago, my parents decided to string twinkling lights around the inside edges of both the living and dining room windows.  As kids, the five of us were ecstatic.  The more lights, the merrier!

The next morning, however, things changed and got a bit dark.  First thing that morning, I ran down the stairs and plugged in those newly-stringed lights.  Suddenly, those twinkling lights created static on the kitchen radio.  They interfered with the traffic and weather reports my parents wanted to hear.  It interfered with the music on KEX that acted as a cover to the chaos and noise each morning.  I suspect the music kept my parents somewhat sane as everyone rushed here and there to get ready for another day.  So, my parents decreed—not unlike Caesar Augustus—that under no circumstances were those twinkling lights to be plugged in during the morning hours.   We were bummed:  adults “1”, kids “0”.

 Pondering this memory, I now see the meaning of Christ’s Birth within all that static and interference those twinkling lights caused.    Almost from the beginning, Jesus’ Birth caused static and interference in the lives of people and in all kinds of ways.  Remember Herod. 

In this Divine Birth, God gets close and under our skin; swaddled in our humanity.  God gets under our skin to wake us up and get our attention.  There’s more to life than traffic and weather reports; more than a Seahawk Playoff game on Christmas Eve. 

In this Birth, the Reality of God dawns in our world with Light not of our own making; Light different from any light we’ve ever experienced.  According to St. John of the Cross this Light, born of God, ‘smarts’.  It must so we might begin to see differently and in ways that matter.  Of course, we can ‘pull the plug’ to this new way of seeing.  The choice is ours.  Or, like children, we can learn to take it all to heart and let it shine within this dulled and distracted world in which we sometimes live.

By this Birth, Christ gets under our skin by the static of his words; meant to interfere with the way things are and to show us a more life-giving and selfless way.  When we are willing to listen, then we begin to change.  So, in an odd and humorous kind of way, those twinkling lights one Christmas years ago announced the meaning of this Birth, though none of us knew it at the time.  All I knew was that I wanted those lights on, no matter what.  I didn’t care about such mundane concerns as traffic and weather reports.  All that mattered were those lights twinkling inside our windows and out into the darkened streets of our neighborhood.  Those lights gave me such joy, a joy that went beyond words.

May we find the willingness to choose the Light and take to heart the message of Christ, with its static and interference; born from a love that wants only to wake us up.

This Christmas, let’s keep the lights on.  Don’t pull the plug nor kill the spirit of these days.  With child-like wonder, let such Light shine!

Merry Christmas!!!

Father Tim Clark, Pastor


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