What Would Jesus Want for Christmas?
(Posted December 13, 2018)
"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy."-- Rumi, 13th century
I know a lot of people find the whole shopping experience for Christmas presents to be a major drag. But I have to say that there’s something about the experience of thinking of people and determining what gift of cheer would delight them that makes ME happy. I guess if I were always buying out of obligation instead of willingness, I’d be grumpy, too. But when you choose the joy of giving, it changes everything.
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This Sunday is what is known to older Christianity as Gaudete Sunday. It’s the “pink candle” on the Advent wreath Sunday that is when we rejoice that our long waiting in the dark for the birth of the Baby who will be the Light of the world, is almost over. Gaudete translates, literally, into Rejoice.
This Sunday at First Church is one we also greet with a bit of silliness. It’s Ugly Sweater Sunday (or ugly tie or ugly suit Sunday, too. Do your best to have the worst taste you can in clothing.) It’s our way of saying that we’ve done our best with the solemnity of the season, and now it’s time to relax. Oddly enough, the Gospel for this Sunday has John the Baptist being anything but giddy with the people who have followed him into the desert. John has a way of telling it like he feels it, and he lays down some serious corrective measures to these early followers who he calls “a brood of vipers.” Then again, I guess I would be grumpy too if all I ate was bugs and honey.
We won’t be grumpy this Sunday, however. I’m going to ask you all to think about what Jesus would like for Christmas, whether you think of Jesus as the Babe in the manger, or whether it’s the resurrected Jesus for whom you’re going to select a gift. Give that some thought, and bring it with you wrapped in the ugliest sweater you can think of. Until then, PEACE. --- Pastor Pat Kriss