Merry Chaotic and Disturbance-filled Christmas?!

Killing babies

Matthew 2:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod…[Herod] was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

I don’t know about you, but I want to run from Christmas chaos! I hate the thought of everything from the slowed up, jammed up traffic, to the packed out gas stations, highways, and stores of frenzied people pushing and shoving, literally, to get “deals” (or NOT because of getting punched by other people who snatch the “deals” right out of their greedy – oops – grubby little hands! HaHa!) Yikes!

But, as much as I hate all of that, I have to admit this atmosphere seems more true to the context in which Jesus was actually born 2000 years ago; only chaotic danger and disturbance when God enters the room in flesh, as one of us! I’m even thinking that maybe its sort of indictment against Christ’s Body, the Church, that there is not more chaos and crisis at Christmastime in our world at the proclamation of this Jesus Christ Who has entered it?

As I read Mathew’s story of Jesus’ birth, I am especially struck at how disturbing it is for the Son of God to come into the ordinariness and horrors of our broken world as man; how chaotic it really is (how disturbing it should be till everyone knows and trusts Him?! ) Everyone and everything disturbed at the entrance of the Son of God coming in flesh – “God With Us!” A marital engagement is disturbed by embarrassment and shame, and then met with the prospect of divorce before the wedding can happen! A king is disturbed enough about Jesus’ birth to lie, hunt for and cross regional lines to kill babies and toddlers hoping he killed Jesus! A family is on the run from an evil father and his ruthless ruling son!….hmmm…

Maybe Christmas isn’t really about encouraging a cute religious experience after all. Not about a nice teaching that will make people nicer and more peaceful. Maybe it’s not even about making people confident in going to heaven after “death by trampling” at the mall.

Maybe Christmas is about the Kingdom of the Father, Son and Spirit rumbling in like a jumbo jet and, through His Body the Church, fostering airwaves and noises of disturbance, prompting crises, as the Church excitedly and urgently encourages and warns its brothers and sisters of the need to get ready for the return of the Christ in “Christ”-mas???

As much as I’d like to know NOW the peace that is promised in Christ’s coming, I have to admit that because the God the Father sends His Son, in the Spirit, into the chaos of this world to be with it and see it saved, that’s the way he is still moving on earth in his Church Body till he returns bodily again! How could there not be chaos and crisis with God breaking into our world?; against evil and our broken human nature, to redeem what He has already redeemed in the glorified humanity of Jesus???

As N.T. Wright has written, for Jesus there is “No point in arriving in comfort, when the world is in misery; no point having an easy life, when the world suffers violence and injustice! If he is to be Emmanuel, God-with-us, he must be with us where the pain is.” Where the Head, Jesus, is, so must his Body, we, be, right?

Perhaps the real peace I long for, and you long for, at Christmas is where Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it was when he wrote, “There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture, and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security… To look for guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God’s commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying down the destiny of the nations in the hand of Almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.”

Merry Cross-mas to You as We Enter the Chaos and Participate with Christ in His Loving Disturbance,

– tjbrassell

 

Photo courtesy of: http://www.muchoburrito.com

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