I’m Dreaming of a Control-less Christmas

Friday , 17, December 2010 Leave a comment

A pastor should probably never admit this, but Christmas Vacation is one of my favorite Christmas movies, a “must watch” around our house each holiday season.  In it, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) dreams of a perfect, old-fashioned family Christmas…while every possible (and hilarious) disaster unfolds to destroy any semblance of perfect, old-fashioned, and family, not to mention Christmas!

As a sentimental human, I can relate to Clark Griswold’s good-hearted but never-realized efforts to make the season bright.  My expectations going into the Christmas season and the realities coming out of it never quite line up.  But every year, the dreaming and hoping begins again…

As a Christian, I celebrate Jesus–God the Son–coming in incredible humility to display everything that “perfect” and “family” have ever meant or could possibly ever mean.  Jesus dazzles my imagination and quiets my deepest fears.  In Him and only in Him is there a perfect Christmas.

Here is the great irony:  Our sentimental, consumeristic Christmas expectations and traditions create the perfect environment for control–domination, intimidation, and manipulation–to fester, eliminating any possibility of genuine peace and goodwill.  Meanwhile, Jesus came to Bethlehem and comes to us without the slightest hint of domination, intimidation, or manipulation… 

So in a crazy attempt to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, we wallow in the very behavior and dysfunction–the very nature–that Jesus never was and never will be.  He came not to control, but to save us from our own control-nature and from a world controlled by satan, the author of control himself.

We Christians usually settle for an old-fashioned “controlled Christmas”, just like the ones we’ve always known.  The Christ of Christmas, however, comes so our Christmas-our everything-can be completely “out of control”–completely wrapped up in Him.

So, I’m dreaming of a control-less Christmas, just like the Son I’m blessed to know…  

I pray that you are, too…

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