we’re less than half as close as i want to be
i’m a christian. i make no excuses for it and don’t hide it at all. me and jesus are pretty tight. we’ve actually been pretty close for a while now. we talk quite a bit and i always enjoy hanging out with the guy. i hope that you knew all of this stuff simply by knowing me.
as much as i love the guy, his birthday’s gotten kinda boring lately.
and i think that’s my fault.
i walked into church on sunday morning ready to hear a sermon about christmas. i knew we’d probably even sing some hip version of a christmas song. it’s what we do at my church. we’re that cool. but i also remember thinking, “i hope this isn’t just another typical sermon on the christmas story.”
yeah, that’s what i thought. it slipped into my head and i thought it before i even realized it. was i really wanting something other than one of the greatest stories ever told? how could i even justify wanting something more or something different than that?
i think i know why.
christmas lasts for about eleven months out of the year now. okay, it’s really only about two, maybe a little more. the decorations start coming out sometime around halloween for some people. the music starts coming out even earlier. every church on every street corner puts out the same nativity scene that they’ve put out since we were twelve. we see the lights, hear the music, and see the commercials and become somewhat numb to it. we expect it.
it’s december and christmas is around the corner. every church is collecting money or doing some type of angel tree to help the less fortunate. every church is rallying people to help and donate their time to serve at the soup kitchen or whatever this year’s trendy service project is. every church is saying the same thing.
for those of us who have been raised in the church, we expect to hear the silent night’s and the hark the herald angel sing’s. we sing along out of routine without even thinking twice or realizing the words we’re singing. we expect to hear the christmas story about the wise men and the virgin birth and the manger. some of us could even quote this story. we know it and we expect it.
and we become immune to it.
somehow, we become immune to the greatest story ever told. and we do it without even realizing it.
i’ve used the example of how pretty girls that you go to school with become common and normal and thus after a while you don’t look at them as being as pretty as they really are. i said that i think that happens with god. i even wrote about it this summer.
i think that the christmas story has just become the pretty girl from math class.
somewhere between common and normal it became boring.
in the past day or so since realizing this, i’ve tried to think of what i could do to make christmas less boring and less mundane. i’ve really sat back and thought about how amazing the entire story was. god chose to take on human form and leave perfection in heaven and come down and live with us. he chose to lead a human life and go through all of the crap that we go through on a daily basis. he chose to get tempted in much the same way we’re tempted every day.
he even went through the awkwardness of being 23 and knowing he was in for something special but knew that the time wasn’t right.
and he chose to get murdered so that we wouldn’t have to go to hell.
we get so wrapped up in all of the other stuff around christmas time that we lose sight of all of this. we let this story become normal and common. we focus so much on ourselves and how we’re going to afford christmas presents for other people. we focus on the fact that we’re lonely and wish we had someone to spend christmas with. i say we because i’m guilty of all of these things. i do them too.
we focus on all of the ordinary stuff that goes into this time of year and lose focus of the extraordinary thing that this season represents.
i know that at some point between now and christmas, i’m going to get wrapped up in everything again. i’m going to start focusing on myself again. i’m going to think that the christmas story is just the same thing i’ve heard my entire life. i just hope that whenever that comes i quickly realize that i’m the boring one and jesus is actually the one that’s pretty cool and his story is even cooler.
i like to think i’m pretty awesome but that jesus dude, he blows me out of the water.
say your prayers and take your vitamins.
have a nice day.