Bringing the Text to Life

A Star-Cross Christmas James 5:7-10

Christmas is not a cheap thrill for our lives, nor a cheap fix for our problems. We are called to take up crosses and follow in the footsteps of Christ. While there is nothing wrong with Christmas as a star-studded celebration, for Christians, stars without crosses are as flimsy and fake as the ones perched on top of our Christmas trees.

As kids we probably started the ritual sometime in early November - that is, started our annual Christmas list-making. By Thanksgiving we would have already expanded its length to three times the allowed amount and then painstakingly whittled it back down to a more appropriate length.

The Christmas list let you dream, for it held out the promise that anything was possible. These promises stayed alive until the last shred of paper had been torn away from the last box under the tree. We eventually learned that not all those Christmas wishes could be fulfilled. The shining presents under the shimmering tree eventually became the Christmas morning reality of a few treasured items along with a lot of unwanted stuff. Ultimately, things could never quite measure up to our wishes.

Humanity's Christmas wish-list is found throughout the Old Testament. The voices of prophets and kings and common folk cry out to God for divine gifts that will bring fulfillment. Abraham calls out for offspring...

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