Christmastide is the season for a lot of things, a lot of them good. But, by nature of the fact that there are relational expectations associated with the holiday, it is also peak season for disingenuineness and hypocrisy.
Orphans and other outcasts can smell this out quickly. For eleven months, the world can be a cold place. Then, during the holidays, people put on their Christmas best. They do nice things they don’t do throughout the year. They feel obliged to give gifts to people they many not even like. They extend their fuse a bit, offering a bit of extra grace when wronged. After all, “’tis the season.”
But, is it real? I’ve always wondered. Scrooge. Grinch. Elf’s dad. Was it real for them? If these guys experienced a genuine transformation, it would last, right?
Jesus enters our world with the real deal. An eternal love for His creation. He didn’t “put it on for the holidays.” He really loves us. He even likes us – with brotherly affection. And he goes out of His way to honor us by sitting with us, asking questions, telling stories, attending to our needs, healing our maladies, sharing our tears. To be with Jesus is to be with someone who truly and deeply loves us.
Let’s face it … our love for each other just isn’t this good. Almost every relationship we have is convoluted by some mixed motive, or some unresolved friction.
Christmastime is a good time … because we try to express our love to each other the best we can. We focus on the positives, and honor our warm thoughts about others with some sort of gift, card or contact. Despite our latent hypocrisy, at least we try.
The scriptures charge us to keep this up all the time. Will it last into January?