(First posted on Dec. 25, 2007, during the first year I wrote a blog. Lightly edited because I couldn’t stand some of my previous usage).
The meaning of Christmas is derived from my remembrance of priests at Holy Family Catholic Church in Davenport genuflecting while reading John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us…”
There are many translations of this verse and the idea that an omniscient God would take human form remains a compelling idea. In order for our lives to have meaning, we should live them as Jesus did, through acts in human society.
If Jesus was the incarnate God, we are something less.
If the meaning of Christmas can be found in John 1:14, how should that affect us with our imperfections?
My Christmas story is about the coffee cup that we keep in our bins of Christmas decorations. It was a gift from my spouse and printed in the glaze are five reindeer around a typewriter consulting on a message. The reindeer at the keyboard has a red nose, and must be Rudolf. On the other side of the mug are misspelled the words “Merry Christmas,” presumably typed by Rudolf. At some point I chipped the cup and each year we discuss whether we should get rid of it because of the chip. I have always said no, although I should probably let go. The chipped cup with the animals trying to put a message into human language using human technology has become part of our Christmas tradition. Because it is so similar to the meaning of Christmas, I have trouble letting go of it. We have always ended up keeping the cup and I am using it now to hold the coffee I made this morning.
We humans can use some coffee on Christmas morning, and we need to put it in something.
Merry Christmas reader!