“Aliveness, Jesus will teach, is a gift available to all by God’s grace.
It flows not from taking, but giving,
not from fear but from faith,
not from conflict but from reconciliation,
not from domination but from service.
It isn’t found in the upper trappings of religion —
rules and rituals,
controversies and scruples,
temples and traditions.
No, it springs up from our innermost being like a fountain of living water.
It intoxicates us like the best wine ever
and so turns life from disappointment into a banquet.”
― Brian D. McLaren
It’s an “easy weekend assignment” today:
…Remember some time, situation, person, relationship, happening…
that made you feel “so completely alive.”
(EVEN IF IT WAS SO, SO LONG AGO AND NOW FEELS UNREACHABLY FAR AWAY!)
…and consider that maybe, just maybe —
that “all of a sudden COMING TO LIFE
like you hadn’t before
or like you had forgotten you could”
is the experience that is closer to the spirit of Christmas
than much of what we busy ourselves with in this season.
it’s the experience somewhere down deep in all that we do this time of year,
but it somehow gets buried under the party’s dirty dishes the next morning,
too much torn off wrapping paper,
and family relationships that aren’t so Christmas card perfect,
and anything else that starts to feel “season obligatory” rather than leading us on the way.
What makes you come alive?
Could that be Christmas for you?
It is, after all, an entire holiday, holy day, season, religion
built on a birth.
(Ok, the religion is actually built on a birth and then a rebirth, but that just amplifies my point!)
Actually, it’s much bigger: “aliveness” is at the heart of the secret of all of life.
Focus today on Christmas as “whatever makes you come alive.”
And then figure out how to have more of that.
In fact, do something for yourself in that vein today,
at least a little something,
of that which makes you experience aliveness.
It will be about something deep inside you.
It will also be something about Christ.
Extra credit: Read Psalm 103 today, at least twice, with significant time in between the readings. What does it say to you (or really, what is God saying to you?)