The Starbucks seasonal cups are the talk of the town and world as of late.
But, my friends, Christmas is not at all about those red cups. Christmas is about Jesus—Emmanuel (God with us)–who comes into the world in an unlikely place; in a dirty stable in Bethlehem. This infant comes into the world as our savior who later will die on a cross for each and every one of us. This infant is the person who is our one true king who enters the world in the unlikeliest form; a lowly infant.
So often we forget the true reason for the season. This holiday has become so commercialized. Stores cannot even wait for the Halloween costumes to be packed away before they pull out the Christmas decorations. I love decorating for Christmas and don’t think there is anything wrong with decorating before Thanksgiving at all–especially when we have the right motives. But I also believe Thanksgiving opens the door to “Eucharisto”; giving thanks for all God has given and blessed us with in our lives.
“Eucharisto” continually reminds me of what God did when God chose Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ parents. “Eucharisto” reminds me of the power of God’s love for all of God’s people. “Eucharisto” is Jesus born in that stable in Bethlehem. And “Eucharisto” is giving thanks for that infant Jesus; the unlikely one chosen to be the Messiah; the Messiah we are called to celebrate and remember not just one day a year, but all year round.
One day, when I was at seminary, my friends and I walked into our friend Louise’s office. As we entered her office, my friend Mark immediately noticed a nativity set out on Louise’s desk. It was the spring of the year, so we found that just a little odd. My friend Mark being Mark asked, “Why do you have a nativity set up? It’s not Advent or Christmas.” I’ll never forget our friend’s response. She smiled and asked, “Should we celebrate Jesus just one day a year?” To which we all replied, “Not at all.” She then shared that she keeps one up all year long to remind her of the promises that come in that infant son. Ever since, I keep a nativity up all year long to remind me of that too! (Talk about a conversation starter!)
And that’s the thing friends, Advent is about waiting for this precious son to be born. It is about the birth of this chosen one called to be our Messiah. It is NOT about what is or is not on those red Starbucks cups. It is about who and whose we are. It is about this one who comes as the light in the midst of the darkness.
This Advent and Christmas may we take the time to break bread, give thanks and spend time with those we love; knowing that God loves us so much that God sent God’s son into the world; to be our Messiah; to be a world changer; a world changer who sat and broke bread with tax collectors and sinners.