There is a mystery about Christmas that should eternally amaze us; The Almighty God, creator and ruler of all, becomes a child born in poverty. That, my friends, is a marvelous truth. It is why we celebrate Christmas.
Sometimes we are busy or distracted or simply weary of the story, so to our detriment we fail to be awed by this mystery. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “The lack of mystery in our modern life is our downfall and our poverty. A human life is worth as much as the respect it holds for the mystery. We retain the child in us to the extent that we honor the mystery. Therefore, children have open, wide-awake eyes, because they know that they are surrounded by the mystery. They are not yet finished with this world; they still don’t know how to struggle along and avoid the mystery, as we do.”
What a good reminder to celebrate Christmas with the open, wide-awake eyes of a child. To marvel at the love this moment represents. To embrace the mystery of Christmas, and to find a reason for joy in the midst of the mystery.
Bonhoeffer continues with, “Living without mystery means knowing nothing of the mystery of our own life, nothing of the mystery of another person, nothing of the mystery of the world; it means passing over our own hidden qualities and those of others and the world. It means remaining on the surface…”
Too often we “remain on the surface” when Christmas arrives. We fail to embrace the reason for joy and become distracted by the shallower options around us. I’ve certainly been guilty of this, and as Bonhoeffer suggests, I’ve missed the hidden qualities of those around me as a result.
Of course, there is a better way. Bonhoeffer later wrote, “Joy lives in its quietness and incomprehensibility.”
Let that settle in for a moment.
Joy is quiet. Joy is incomprehensible. Yet joy is for us. It lives. This moment we call Christmas is meant to honor the living, breathing, incomprehensible joy of Christ’s birth.
It is a profound and beautiful design. It is a mystery. But it is one to embrace, to celebrate, to live. It is at the core of PathLight’s mission, hope, and joy.
This Christmas, from Belize to your home and across the world, my prayer is that you will embrace the incomprehensibility of abundant joy. Let us celebrate together, to embrace the mystery of each other, and to seek joy together.
And so, with hope in an everlasting God that I cannot understand, with faith in an obedient Christ that models an incomprehensible love, and with a desire to learn about the mystery of Immanuel, or God With Us … I wish you a very Merry Christmas.