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The Real Christmas Story Is a Subversive Tale About a New Start for a Corrupt World

Today, every possible movement claims Jesus as a mascot, but if you read the Christmas story carefully, you can’t find conservative or liberal talking points. The one who was both a vulnerable unborn baby and a refugee, who preaches both individual repentance and cosmic renewal, won’t fit nicely in any party. That’s because his is a kingdom not of this world.

This part of the Christmas story brings hope — thus, our singing and gift-giving and merriment — and yet Jesus’ coming doesn’t mean our meditation on advent requires us to pretend away the darkness. God didn’t look away from our sadness but entered into it, in Jesus. Today, that same Jesus still rages at violence and weeps at despair. And one day he will return in power to finish what he began.

So the message of Christmas is not that you have to hide your pain and stash away your sorrow in some imaginary retelling of your story. Bring your pain to the One who offers rest. Advent is full of joy and sorrow, light and darkness. That child beckons, whether you think this is the most wonderful time of the year or you are just trying to make it through December.

This article about the original Christmas story originally appeared here and is used by permission.