This is the second Christmas since my diagnosis. It is how I measure time, now. Let me share with you some thoughts today!
I hope I’m not repeating myself, but I love Christmas. I wonder, Reader-land, do any of you wonder why you get a day or two off around Christmas? If you do, I’ll gladly speak about it, but I’m going to assume you have a cursory knowledge. Being the way I am, I am highly tuned to what is going to happen next. Christmas is the time when what’s next comes into focus in a spectacular fashion!
You see, before 0 in the common era… Wait, you didn’t say common era, did you, Joe? Yes, Self, I did. But why, you are Catholic, you should be saying A.D., which is latin Anno Domini, or the year of our Lord. Yes, Self, you are right, but I’d like to point out to the mostly judeo christian background of people who read this that recorded human history is kept track of according to when a certain person was born. HEY look at that, Christmas!
There are plenty of people who will tell you that Jeshua wasn’t born on Christmas that they moved it to coincide with the winter solstice, blah blah blah and as an historian I am insulted at the blatant disregard for historical sources. But ok, in this Orwellian time I’m living in, I’m not surprised. But the man called Jesus was born then, and we do accurately celebrate his birth, and it’s such a effing big deal as Joe Biden would say, that everyone gets a day off.
Before the first Christmas, our Jewish brethren didn’t really have a sense of what was next. And the Romans, Greeks, Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Egyptians, etc, didn’t either. An afterlife where… You get to keep all your stuff? Hades, where you… I don’t even know, it only seemed like demigods went to Olympus, everyone else went to Hades. Kinda crap deal! But the message of Christmas is one that people didn’t expect…
Not just hope of seventy two virgins, or of getting all the cake you never could have on earth, but the hope of fulfillment, of happiness without earthly ties, of completion of why we walk this earth. And the way this hope came about was unexpected. The God of the universe, instead of making us try to please Him, came out to meet us.
That is why you get a day off. And why every culture that was created under that hope uses His birth as year one. Even now, trying to avoid it, they can’t get away from the year numbering system.
For me, when I die, I will get to encounter the cause of my hope, who came and was born, like me. I will have to go empty handed, because you don’t bring anything with you, and I will meet the God who loved me so much that He would come out to meet me as I am. How cool is that?
Fr Noah again hit a home run this morning, but I want to focus now on the wonder of the realization of the event that we celebrate. Everything counts from this Day. That first Silent Night led to a day and millennia of silent wonder.
There was a prayer during WWII that an intel guy penned, about remembering that a man died for me today, and that I live my life asking if I was worth dying for. Today, on Christmas, I’d like to pray that I remember that God LIVED for me today. He thought I was worth it.