I Was Just Thinking . . .

Years ago my wife and I were obsessed with a sitcom called “Everybody Loves Raymond.” The show is in many ways a modern classic, and you likely are aware of it. In one of the earlier episodes the retired curmudgeon, Frank Barone, finds new life as he embraces a “career” as a writer. The end begins for Frank when he deems the world fit for his thoughts about ordinary matters. In the spirit of Christmas joy, I thought it would be fun to adopt his method concerning Christmas.

I was just thinking what’s the deal with putting a tree in the living room. If I ever did that any other time of the year people would think I’m crazy but now I’m a festive hero.

I was just thinking if inflatable scenes of the Bible are so important to don on our lawn what other scenes of redemptive importance should decorate the front of our homes? The flood? The death of Goliath? Ezekiel and the valley of dry bones? The Passover?

I was just thinking what should people do if they meet under the mistletoe in our present COVID world? Should they gleefully offer air high fives?

I was just thinking why do we limit socks on the wall just for Christmas. I want candy year round. We should transition to stockings regularly housing all sorts of various treats and gifts all throughout our house. This may catch on globally.

I was just thinking, why do we look forward to snow? It inevitably means my back is going to hurt and I’ll be reminded of how weak and feeble I’ve become.

I was just thinking why don’t we just install heaters under the sidewalk – that would certainly save time and effort when the next blizzard strikes.

I was just thinking why don’t we have rural winter olympics – I’d pay to see a snow plow race.

I was just thinking why do we limit ourselves to egg nog. Perhaps there is a panoply of “nog” waiting to happen from unexpected meats.

I was just thinking why don’t we live in Florida? Seriously, who gets excited about freezing and shoveling. Its the same people who got excited about my last comment on nogs, that’s who.

I was just thinking we could save a fortune in legal fees if people could just have a proper snowball duel, with the first to draw blood being the victor.

I was just thinking – I can’t believe you’ve continued to read this.

All joking aside, we could all use a good laugh from time to time. Life has been heavy as of late for many, many reasons. Our present world appears less and less ideal. Though this may seem overwhelming at first, and may lead us to depression we need to be reminded that the world Jesus was born into was less than ideal.

If we consider history, we would note that Jesus was born while his people were under the jurisdiction of a foreign power, the Roman Empire. The worship of God’s people was not pristine. You had various factions at work like the Essenes, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees. Add to this the uncommon nature of Mary’s pregnancy, the difficult travel in her third trimester, and the reality that King Herod would immediately seek to kill the infant Christ, and you have a crummy Christmas Eve.

In sum, the world Jesus was born into was rather screwed up. Why is that encouraging to us today? God is not limited by our circumstances or our situations. Even if every part and parcel of our present situation is “wrong” or not as we would like – these things are no limit for our glorious God. Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh, equal in substance, power and glory with the Father and the Spirit came at a bad time. But the darkness of His world simply set the most wondrous contrast to His shining light.

The Gospel of John displays for us the light of Christ. John wrote, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5 ESV) We need daily reminders that the light of Christ can never be eclipsed by the darkness of our world, and that in the wonder of Christmas. That God would send His most beloved Son into a dark and wicked world so that His light would come and transform us, that we who are darkness would be made light.

I was just thinking how could the knowledge of Jesus Christ’s birth in evil days encourage us, if every time we felt overwhelmed by our world, we were reminded that none of it limits God.

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