A year ago, after a somewhat rocky Christmas Eve, I woke at 4 AM and wrote this essay to read to my family before we ate monkey bread and frittata and drank some mimosas.
I read it again this year before our traditional Christmas morning repast and it seemed to resonate with my people.
I may have shared this once before, but I don't care. I am sharing it again. It's my blog and I can do what I want.
I woke up thinking about the quote from the Chronicles of Narnia where Mr. Tumnus described Narnia before Aslan like this …
“It is winter,” said Mr. Tumnus, “always winter, but never Christmas.”
And I thought to myself: We celebrate this morning not only the love of family and festivities and frivolity, but the deeply mysterious, capital S Story, that lies at the heart of the universe. A Story that, Christians believe, undergirds our existence, our sense of purpose and our tenacious hope that maybe, just maybe, after what feels like an interminable winter there will, one day, be a great and eternal Christmas.
A banquet of sorts …
A feast that never ends, where the hungry and the hurt, the homeless and heartbroken, the war-weary and wounded, the poverty-stricken and powerless, will finally … feast … first.
At the heart of that Story lies the belief that we are not alone on this cold, dark planet, but there is a Light - that no darkness can ever overcome or extinguish - a Light that moves toward us in relentless love, despite our personal and collective darkness, despair, and destruction.
That Light - Christians believe - is the Light of the World, God incarnate, the Divine made flesh. Jesus the Christ, Christ not his surname, but his title - the anointed one, the chosen one, the one who will save, who will deliver all people - from a world that feels, for the bulk of humanity, like winter, but never Christmas.
This Light, this Christ, this capital S Story is why we celebrate today, why we give gifts in ridiculous abundance, why we laugh and dance and sing together, why we share food and drink and hugs and hope and heartache and monkey bread and Kerrygold butter.
So I raise a toast this cold winter morning to Aslan, the Christ character in the Chronicles, the one who - on that first dark Christmas morning - moved toward us in love, and continues and will continue to do so every day of our life. The One who worked the deepest magic, who on the Stone Table broke the curse and made death start to work backward on itself.
This is why we celebrate together this morning. Carry on! Mimosas for the win!
AMEN(Alice Shirey - Christmas 2022)