Our local remembrance of Christ's birth has borrowed much. Celebration. Kids. Sentimentality. A scary yet kindly old dude doling out coal or other gifts. Candles. Evergreen trees. Tinsel. Family. Fa la la la la.
Thus I am reminded of Charlie Brown's frustrated question, "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?" Linus' response from Luke chapter 2 is one of those special moments in my life. I clearly remember the next morning (which would have been December 10, 1965) waiting for the school bus on our frozen dirt road, pondering that the TV bosses let Linus quote the Bible straight for at least a minute; so maybe there's hope for this world. I was buoyed also by the alternately wistful and jazzy soundtrack that runs in my head now these fifty years.
Yet, though they are what Christmas is all about, many of the events of the first Christmas are not unique. You can recall other instances, old and new. Sure you can. Angel? Not new. Shepherds? A-plenty. Wise Men? Been there. A guiding star? A prophecy? Taxes? No room in the inn? A baby? Refugees fleeing a cruel king? Been there, bought the T-shirt, washed my car with the T-shirt.
In the remaining few clips I suggest that the core of Christmas is this:
God with us.
And not in anger, but in mercy and kindness.
And God rest ye merry, everyone!
At The Surge we love doing things together... that includes writing a blog! Here are a few of our main contributing authors:
Our fearless leader, Dwaine is the lead pastor at The Surge. His experience in counter terrorism with the CIA prepared him for ministry and he likes dogs and babies even more than E does.
E (short for Eric Reiss) is the Wingman at The Surge and likes dogs, music, Mexican food, his wife Karen and his little girl Evangeline... not necessarily in that order.