A different Christmas Story


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We have had a bout of serious (and worrying) coughs and sneezes in our two youngest grandchildren (and the more usual sniffles and moans for older members of our family).

A taxi-driver told me it is because all the leaves fall from the trees and then rot – that all the leaf-mould spores in the air are the cause.  He may be right. The changing seasons always seem to bring an outbreak of hacking coughs and runny noses.

But what amazes me with tiny-tots and illness is their acceptance without self-pity.  Yes they moan – but not an “adult moan”.  They moan because something hurts and NOT because the Gods are against them or that life isn’t fair.

Whereas us adults moan because the Gods ARE against us and life IS so unfair – and with absolute certainty we KNOW this ALWAYS happens to ME!

Living in the moment.

Our dog loves a good walk.  She knows the timings of her walks.  She sits and waits when it’s time.  She never tires of sniffing.  She never tires of squirting over some other dog’s squirts.  Her walks are her highlights.

Unless it is raining.  Or drizzling.  Or has been raining.  Or is about to rain.  Then her ears cringe.  Her body shrinks a little.  And she gets to the end of the drive and plants her feet firmly and goes no further.  We are back home in seconds when it is raining.

But that never stops her waiting for her next walk.

It might still be raining but she will make a decision when we step out of the front door.  Or she might have been in the back garden and have decided the next walk can be cancelled without fuss.  And then waits for the next walk.

Living in the moment.

Luke 21:20-28   Still in the end-times.  Still reading tea-leaves.  Still feeling sorry for ourselves.  Or else why the fascination with all this stuff?

I was taught of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Son of God.  He came to this world, was born and took on human form.  He then grew anonymously through childhood into teenage years and then to a young adult.  And for just three years he changed the world and all in it before willingly hanging on a cross so that you and I could be saved.  If he hadn’t – we wouldn’t.

And the proof – the “evidence”?

He rose again from death just as we will because we are now saved … IF we believe the “evidence”.  The bible … the church … the creeds … someone else’s teaching … the correct biblical and scriptural correctness which is determined by … ?

Living in the moment.

“The first shall be last” was his reality.  A place at the “high table” never available during childhood or teenage years.  A house and partner and job and career and pension was never relevant.  All because he knew he was going to be executed?

Or because all that “stuff” is just not relevant when you live in the moment?

Someone who was feted and jeered all in the same breath yet wasn’t swayed by either.  And, if the bible is correct, Jesus knew what lay ahead but never felt sorry for himself.  Knew and then went through a horrendous lonely pre-death and dying without any self-pity.  And after rising from death hung around with the same peeps as before in the same quiet “in the moment“ way as always.

“They moan because something hurts and NOT because the Gods are against them or that life isn’t fair.”

I think the Christian Christmas Story is dressed like any commercial window-display whose only purpose is to sell a product and brand.

But what if – just maybe – the lesson is not that?  What if this “product” we are sold (and then debate eternally the cut, the width, the price, the quality, the guarantees, the fitness for purpose) is not “it” at all …

What if the whole “lesson” is simply about living in the moment?  Doesn’t unconditional love become not only possible but easy in “the moment”?  Isn’t that the unconditional love of and for a young child we see every day … that we share every day …  that we never think remarkable or difficult at all … ?

And then we are taught The Christmas Story (without the blood) and it all becomes “me me me”.  Taught that “unconditional love” is beyond me as a mere “sinner saved”.

But I know it is not.  I love unconditionally every day.

Perhaps we need a different Christmas Story this year.

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