We inherit this good news. It becomes our work to inhabit the meaning. So if you will take a word from a pastor this Christmas, let it be this: set down the news cycle, at least for these next few days. Instead, take time for the deeper news, the good news, even this year, especially this year. Take the time to let the great joy take root. Find ways to choose love. Choose to be present. Choose to dig past all the wrapping to the deep structure. God, out of love for us, broke all our rules, to spend time with all the wrong people. Imagine the world we could build if we likewise chose to go to the edges, to spend our time with those for whom our society makes no room. Imagine what would be possible if we allowed ourselves to be loved into loving.
in our translation today, John tells his followers, those snakes, to “produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives.” That phrase, “change your hearts and lives” that is what our translation uses for the word we’re used to hearing as “repent.”
Nostalgia can be powerful. So this season, I want to invite you, to the degree you can, lay the nostalgia aside. Do it for the sake of your mental health, for the sake of those around you. Realize this Christmas isn’t going to be like any Christmas before.