Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dear Jesus,

if historians/pastors/christian culture actually spoke/wrote accurately, then this would be at least your 2022'nd birthday. i say this because every Christmas that i've existed, i've heard and reheard that you were born 2000 years ago. this has always bothered me, and so i'm just going to take this opportunity to tell you happy birthday- however many years its been since bethlehem- and move on.

I was thinking last night, Jesus, about the fact that you really must not have cared a whole bunch about making any kind of scene or show, or abiding by any sort of kingly rituals that would have highlighted the powerful role that you were born into. if you did care, it was only about showing the world how meaningless and minuscule its pomp and circumstance and royal traditions really are.

that's why, however many years ago, you spent your first night on this earth amidst surroundings that would have been lowly for anyone, much less heaven's king.

i thought about that last night, Jesus. i thought about it as i sat in a Christmas Eve service for which i'd tried on a couple of different pairs of shoes and put on eye shadow.

i thought about the fact that your birth is a perfectly plain example of the things that you think are important and the things that aren't. if you cared much for appearances or presentation, our nativity sets would look much different than they do, and my dad wouldn't have had to take his allergy medicine before coming to watch me sit atop a bail of hay as Mary in our church's live nativity.

i thought about the fact that you really wanted to show us that you were coming to defy most of what the world saw was worthy of any sort of praise. and that aside from that and the sheer fact that that night began your journey to the cross, the most important thing that we can take away from your birthday is the blind faith by which the shepherds left their flocks to come and worship you.

as these thoughts rounded my head, i began to think back across the past 22 Christmases {and years in general} and i searched my memory for the times i've celebrated your birthday the way in which you would want.

Jesus, i'm not sure why we fight so fiercely to maintain outward appearances when appearances are what you directly defied. i don't understand why we still seek to fit a mold when we look forward all year to celebrating the day you showed us that breaking molds was okay. i've got no idea why i looked in the tag of the new pajama pants i got today to make sure they were a size *, when the reason we give presents in the first place is in honor of the gifts the wise men placed at your feet to show you that they worshipped you above all else.

please convict me and everyone else who celebrates your birthday today of whatever idols we need to let go and place at your manger. please point out the ashes in our lives of we're still trying to make use of, and give us the strength to loosen our fingers and let them slip into yours. let us let you make them beautiful. let us place our outward appearances behind us, rather than before us, where they hinder our connection with others and with you.

Happy Birthday, Jesus. i love you. and in your 2022nd {or whatever the heck it is} year, let me live as a reflection of the day you came to earth; unworried about things working or appearing as they seemingly should, walking in blind faith to whatever places of worship you call me.

thank you for coming, Jesus. and thank you for bringing your freedom.

Merry Christmas.



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