Saturday, December 17, 2005

No Amazing Christmas Insights

With my shallow background in journalism, I've learned that sometimes there just isn't any news that's fit to print. You print your journal anyway when there are advertisers and subscribers and contracts to be honored, but it's a little less than honest.

So I confess. I have no amazing insights about Christmas. I haven't solved the conundrum of the meaning of "virgin birth." I haven't uncovered a little-known, never recognized Messianic prophecy buried deep in the Psalms or Esther or heaven-forbid-the-Song-of-Solomon. I have no political or religious position on the President's use of "Happy Holidays" in his greeting card this year. I have no answers for what to tell small children when they ask if Santa's real.

My mom is here. She's 80. She drove all the way from Bloomington, Indiana to us in Little Rock, Arkansas today. Five hundred and fifty miles. At speeds approaching her age. Given her declining reflexes, that's something of a miracle. And I am a little bit in awe.

My son turns 13 tomorrow. He originally invited all of the boys in his seventh-grade class to an all-night camp-in birthday party at our church's Family Life Center that would have been last night, and the few of them that responded said they had an early basketball game this morning and couldn't come to an all-night party. So we changed the span from 6:00 to 10:00 last night. Sixteen boys showed up - one bringing a friend who was not a classmate. They played dodge ball, basketball, flashlight tag, capture the flag, billiards, and video games. They ate six pizzas, yet only half a birthday cake. They were well-behaved and it only took about 10 minutes to clean and close the facility after them. It was a minor miracle. And I am more than a little bit in awe.

In a quiet moment, after reading many blogs tonight and reflecting on the weekend and anticipating the Advent, it has just struck me again for the silent-thundering thousandth time that the actual Son of God left heaven to become a baby in a nothing family in a nowhere country to live a no-reward life to serve and save a no-account world of people. It is a miracle beyond grasp - not that He was born of a virgin (God created heavens and the earth and someone has a problem with the idea that He could create and place a single spermatozoan at the heart of a human egg?) - but that He came at all.

It's not an original thought. Thousands of writers over two thousand years have phrased it more beautifully, more succinctly, more reverently, more powerfully, more inspiringly than I can. It's become too mundane to be amazing any more.

And perhaps that is as astonishing as the fact itself that He came.

4 comments:

Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

I don't know, Keith - I always (and still do) found there were more stories out there than I could EVER write about. Of course, when I was a journalist I was a Community Editor, so most, if not all, of the "news" I wrote about was positive and good things about people in the community and different groups and organizations.

That being said, I know what you mean about not having any "amazing insights" into a lot, of not all of, things, and especially Christmas.

But, what still amazes me, even earlier today, is that as long as I have lived and as much as I have studied and read God's Word, I still find "new" insights into things I've never thought through before. Or maybe it's just that I find new, relevant meanings in some of the most well loved passages that I needed just today.

Either way, I cherish the fact that God DID make a miracle happen in sending His son to live and die among us so that WE - unworthy that we are - might live with them throughout eternity in Heaven.

Thanks for reminding us.

jettybetty said...

It's still amazing every time I stop and think about it--God on earth as a baby!

DJG said...

And yet with awe I share my amazement with people I will never meet face to face. I know that we share a bond than could only exist because we believe and we know it will NEVER be mundane!

David U said...

I am right with you, Keith! AMAZING isn't it? I love Max's expression of "God Came Near".
Thanks for your super post, brother!

DU