A Realigious Christmas

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This Friday – where we live – will be the shortest day of the year.  I wouldn’t know that fact were it not for the fact it was printed into our calendar.  I have no idea by how much it is shorter.  Nor any exact idea how much longer the longest day is six months from Friday.  Summer is summer as winter is winter.  And when the clouds and weather filter the lighting for lighter or darker – it makes the whole “factoid factory” detached from real life and living.

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This year’s Advent is like that for me.

Today’s verses – Luke 1:5-25: another biblical “factoid” of forecast and fulfilment. Another comforting notch in our headboards of faith on this adventual pilgrimage to Bethlehem.  Another “this is the REAL meaning of Christmas” validation.  Another righteous finger to point at the unchurched busily spending their way to Consumer Hell each Realigious Christmas.

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Yesterday I was really grumpy.  The emotional/living “clouds and weather filter” meant my usual joy was only visible at 30,000 feet.  Down on the ground it was a different story.

And what I find odd is that “grump begets grump” in those you love and who love you. But joy does not beget joy in those same people. Joy is expected. Grumps are not. And the cure for a grumpy day … ?

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“Sort yourself out AND apologise for pissing me off!” 

(oh for the days of young childhood when a great big squishy hug and a couple of treats was the cure!)

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And isn’t that the REAL meaning of Christmas?

A lesson about the REAL meaning of living.  A guided tour of loving unconditionally every day and of this – and each – moment?  Of a baby created of love.  A baby devoid of all we will teach by textbook, anecdote, edited history, cultural osmosis, and all the many ways we “learn” simply by being alive and growing from newborn to adult.

The real meaning of living.

Not of dying well – not of being saved for after we die – not from sin and the need for repeated repentance – not from saying the right words and believing the right beliefs …

Of freeing ourselves to love without condition each day and every day. Of freeing ourselves to become stronger (again) than we ever thought possible.  To see others as newborns filled with love.  To see ourself as newborn filled with love.  To “become childlike” and stay “childlike”  – no matter how much we prefer being a mature Christian adult as the objective and purpose and REAL lesson of Christmas.

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One of the things I love about the adult Jesus is his simplicity.

He never lost his childlike.  He always sees life and living simply.  Always in the moment even though tomorrow and yesterday were accepted factoids.  Just like the shortest day on Friday.  Just like my grumpy day yesterday.

Factoids are no way to live or love.  Factoids are little data-dumps in a world full of conflicting data-dumps.  Factoids are a distraction usually.  Or – at best – of momentary interest.

But the simplicity AND strength of love without condition …

That changes every moment and frees me to be in the moment always. 

My factoids today … ?  Grumpy now gone … shortest to come …

Now let’s get back to THIS moment and the life-changing loving chance to be free again!

If I allow.

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