As I was pondering what to write about this week, it struck me that this would be a good week to write about Christmas. Brilliant, right? But, what about Christmas? Hasn’t everything that needs to be said about Christmas already been said? I mean, what’s left to say? 

Most folks already know the story of Christmas from the Bible, don’t they? And, all the great Christmas hymns, which help reinforce the meaning of the story. We have special services, like our Advent services, which help us prepare for the coming of Christmas. We have church activities, like our Christmas Day Dinner and our donations for the local food pantry, which bring to life the meaning of Christmas. Heck, we even have our own little Arthur Christmas Parade, to fill us with the Spirit of Christmas. 

Seriously … what more is left to say?

And then I thought a little deeper! I know, right? And it dawned on me that the only voice I was still waiting to hear from about what Christmas really means and why it matters so much to all of us … is God’s voice. Maybe God can add something to this plethora of Christmas messages we receive every year. Maybe God can help us understand the true meaning of Christmas in a way that could actually change us. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a way to tell the story of Christmas that will bring the divine gifts of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love to our lives in a deep lasting way. 

I thought it was worth a shot! 

So, this week, I turn this space over to our God … the One and Only! And while my translation of God’s story might be a little lacking, I think I got most of the story accurately. So, here it is: 


ACT ONE: In the beginning I created humans, like you, and all living things … and all other things. To exist is good! To be is better than not to be. So, all things are good. Especially humans – they’re very good! I created them in my own image. And each thing I created had a perfectly fulfilling role to play in the world … with each other, and with everything else in creation. I call this “Shalom” – when everything that exists is in perfect harmony with everything else. Only I can do that. Shalom means that all things are exactly what I created them to be, and humans live strictly according to my will. And, because of the divine love I have for all things, and that all humans have for each other and all other things of the world, goodness is known by all and constantly enjoyed by all. You might call it paradise. 

ACT TWO: Because I love humans so much, and I desire to have that love returned to me just as I have given it to them, I gifted humans with the ability to freely choose. Bottom-line: You, and all other humans, now have the option of choosing a lesser good over the ultimate good of love and faithfulness to me. When you, and other humans, choose lesser and lesser good things, things that are not part of the original plan for divine love and perfect harmony, then you become separated from me, your God. This is called sin, and sin brings harm and evil into creation, and breaks the harmony that I established in the beginning. Things in the world are no longer the way I intend them to be. The world is broken because of your choices, and you do not have the power to restore it to its original goodness. And deep down, every human longs to be healed and made whole again according to my will … and all of creation groans as it suffers. 

ACT THREE: And, though you, or anyone else, does not have the power to restore harmony to creation, I do! And because of my divine love for you, for all humans, and for all of my creation, I chose to become human, in order to provide you with the power you need to heal yourself and to help me fix the world. Thus, we come to what you call the Christmas story. That babe in the manger in the stable in Bethlehem … that’s me! I became human in the body and spirit of a person named Jesus of Nazareth to show you, and everyone else, that I am with you, and I am for you … always. I have come into the world in order that the world, including you, may be redeemed, restored, and re-created in all of its original goodness. When I was born on Christmas Day, I began a new creation. And the building of this new creation starts with you, and all other followers of the Way of Jesus. As Jesus, I taught you to repent from your “lesser good” ways, and to turn back to my ways. I don’t want you to settle for a life that’s “good enough.” I came to earth so that you could have real life, the life I intended for you, and to have it abundantly! That’s what Christmas is all about! I became a human to show you how to live as a human … to show you what a life dedicated to me looks like, and sounds like, and acts like. That’s the way of life I created you for. That’s who you really are! Trust me, I know. I created you! 

ACT FOUR: That brings us to today. Here I am, and there you are. And here we sit together in this time between the beginning of the restoration of all things to their original harmony, and the completion of this restoration. That means that followers of Jesus are in this world, but not of it. Rather, they are all about God’s way of divine love in everything they do in the world. And because of their love for God, they are always looking for opportunities to join me in this restorative work that’s underway, and to respond in faith and hope to what I’m doing. Someday, that work will be complete. All things will be made new. All tears will be dried up and the world will once again abide in perfect harmony with me and with each other. I am ready to finish that job! Are you ready and willing to help me? I promise that I have done all that I need to do to make this new creation a reality this Christmas. Now, it’s your turn. Maybe this is the year that you move beyond the right words and thoughts, past the well intentioned prayers and the good deeds, and take the full Christmas plunge! This Christmas, give yourself to me, follow the way that I have shown you, and embrace your call to become a full-fledged, one-of-a-kind, you only live once, disciple of Jesus Christ. When that happens, Shalom will be yours … and Christmas will never be the same again.