Monday, December 24, 2012

Reflections on A Christmas Carol

If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me…. Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day; for darkness is as light with you. – Psalm 139:9-12

My kids and I were blessed to see A Christmas Carol yesterday, performed in the intimate San Jose Repertory Theater. I could see this production every Christmas and never get tired of it! It isn’t hugely fancy, but it beautifully presents Dickens’ themes of redemption and the true meaning of Christmas, without allowing an ounce of political correctness to cramp its style. Reflecting Dickens’ title, the performance was peppered with traditional Christmas carols that unapologetically proclaimed the true meaning of Christmas: Christ is born, and that changes everything.

Did you know that you can celebrate Christmas with only two pieces of wood, a match, and a prayer? In a cold, dark corner you can light a candle, sing a hymn, and experience the real meaning of Christmas. You can celebrate Christmas in a run-down apartment, on a raging ocean, in a refugee camp, in a basement; or in a brightly lit mansion, a family cabin in the woods, a European palace. In company or alone, wealthy or destitute, you can celebrate Christmas. The only place you can’t celebrate Christmas is in a heart that is closed to God’s love. And love pursues us, even there.

Christmas triumphs on the outer reaches of trouble and suffering. At the storm front, where the fierce winds of this world’s sorrows blow strongest, Christmas can actually be the sweetest.

Wherever you are, whatever’s happening in your life, Merry Christmas! And God bless us all.

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