The Irrational Season

Friday, December 26, 2008

This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There'd have been no room for the child.

When we try to define and over-define and narrow down, we lose the story the Maker of the Universe is telling us in the Gospels. I do not want to explain the Gospels; I want to enjoy them.

And that is how I want to read and write story. This does not mean that story deals only with cheeriness, but that beneath the reality of life is the rock of faith. I ask God to set me upon a rock that is higher than I so that I may be able to see more clearly, see the tragedy and the joy and sometimes the dull slogging along of life with an assurance that not only is there rock under my feet, but that God made the rock and you and me, and is concerned with Creation, every galaxy, every atom and subatomic particle. Matter matters.

This is the promise of the Incarnation. Christ put on human matter, and what happens to us is of eternal, cosmic importance. That is what true story affirms.

~L'Engle, WinterSong Christmas Readings

This year's Christmas season was very irrational for me. I posted earlier this month about not spending it with family and trying to figure out how to do it on our own. Adding any more activities or responsibilities to the daily grind of our lives is a recipe for disaster, as I discovered on our Very Exhausting, Very Fussing Christmas Eve day.

I was just looking for a short poem to plug into this-supposed-to-be-picture-post when I found these quotes that turned this into a real-ish sort of post. I know I quote a lot from L'Engle here. Her writing expresses truth that I've been learning before I know how to say it myself. Two years ago, I read through her book about the Incarnation, Bright, Evening Star. It is a read I highly recommend in any season.

Most of the blog posts I read about "the true meaning of Christmas" irritated me. I mean, they really irritated me (though I must note at least one exception). So often, we stop with the reminders of the Christ child, of the fact that Christmas is the time we remember when our salvation began. We don't wonder.

We don't ponder the fact that GOD became a MAN at Christmas. We don't realize that the Word that we so often throw around and use to proof-text our opinions about life was a Person who became a Human Person and lived here in our world and got dirty with our dirt and died the way we do and the way we won't because of His Life.

Why would He do that?

So we'd get Him, I think. So we'd get that He feels. That He loves. That He sees and knows and cares, just like we do. So He could say, "I've been where you are." So He could be HERE.

This year, Christmas was simply a holiday for me, something that comes around every year like Memorial Day or Thanksgiving or my birthday. It was another day that we lived. Pete stayed home from work. We spent time together as a family. I am grateful for the day to do that.

The fact that Christ was born and lived and died was no more real to me on Christmas than it is any other day of the year.

I don't know when I stopped thinking of Christmas as the only time to think about His Incarnation. I don't know when I came to consider the Christmas season to be little more than traditional obligation and busyness with a nod to the birth of Christ. In the last months, the knowledge that He IS has been seeping into my soul. Every day He is. He fills my days, my months, my seasons, my years, my whole being.

Christmas was insane for us this year on so many levels. But it wasn't empty. Because He was born, He was here in the insane.

Now THAT was irrational of God.


dancebythelight said...

I'm glad you didn't find my post irritating. Hopefully it was thought-provoking.

One a slighly different note, have you read "Walking on Water" by L'Engle? It's about faith and art. If you haven't read it, you must!

Kelly Sauer said...

Oh yes, I have read it - it was a very good read!

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