The point of Christmas

By the time this edition hits the streets many of us will be in Christmas mode. Schools will be finalising assessments and sending out reports, parents will be thinking how they will juggle work commitments and the kids over the long summer break and, of course, there will be Christmas plans to attend to.

In the midst of the craziness of this season, we may ask ourselves are we missing the point of Christmas? Is it about the gift giving? Which grandparents and cousins should we spend Christmas with? What will we cook? How much should we spend? Will the credit card be maxed out? Which Christmas Mass will suit our schedule? Well, it is all those things, and more.

In fact, we are reminded of the real meaning of Christmas every time we make our Profession of Faith at Mass. “Do we?” I hear you ask. Well, yes. As Christians we believe that God became human and profess this when we say the words of the Nicene Creed, “he came down from heaven, and by the power of the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.” Sometimes we use the Apostle’s Creed, and we say that we “believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,” etc. Sometimes we rattle off the words so quickly without really thinking about what we are saying. Yet week in, week out, we are professing that this small baby who came into our world was truly God, and truly human. Truly divine, truly man.

So, as we get caught up in all the activities of Christmas, let us take a few moments to contemplate what it is we celebrate. Christ’s birth was profoundly normal, profoundly amazing. God chose to take human form, to be born to a poor and homeless couple. He has taken a walk in our shoes as they say. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, “The Son of God became a man that all might become sons and daughters of God.” Now that’s worth celebrating!