You have to wait until minute 13 of this 18 minute video to hear it, but President Barack Obama, in a Dec. 21 visit to the Washington D.C. Boys and Girls Club, does a little evangelizing about the “reason we celebrate Christmas” after reading the Polar Express to the kids and listening to a litany of multimedia acronyms on their wish lists. He does a good job, and when one child talks about giving gifts instead of just receiving them, Obama delivers a little Three Wise Men theology. Anyone who still clings to the “he’s a Muslim in hiding” conspiracy theory would do well to check it out.
I love Christmas, and it isn’t because of the presents. It’s because of the story. (GodBlogging warning: If you’re not into Christmas, are a non-believer, or just Grinch, stop reading here.) Christmas is the theology of God loving us, nothing else. We didn’t (we don’t) have to do anything except accept that love and grace and love back. It is very hard to describe. I mean, I could tell you the story, connecting the verses in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, bringing the annunciation of Gabriel and the tax-registration in the City of David and the shepherds and the wise men and Joseph’s dream and the manger birth and the Wise Men’s visit as done in popular media, but I cannot express what happens deep within me when hearing the Biblical recitation or when setting up my family’s Nativity scene.
So, I offer you this article about having a Merry Christmas and, for clergy who might be wondering how they can make their Christmas eve and Christmas day sermons great, you could do far worse that take a page from this guy’s message.
In other news, the Vatican’s official paper gave props to The Simpsons on Tuesday, (more…)