The sights of Advent sometimes delight me and sometimes make me chuckle. The lights, the liturgy, and the music remind me that this is a spiritual season.
The inflatable yard displays, silly holiday movies, and frantic shopping malls remind me that we intermingle this season with our longings to connect and have fun. We are human after all.
I had to chuckle out loud when I drove through my neighborhood and spotted a yard display that boasted an inflatable nativity scene next to a cast of merry minions.
I had to smile quietly to myself as my family held hands in our favorite Mexican restaurant and offered prayers of gratitude over our enchiladas and margaritas.
Merriment is on display all around. Holy and fun moments exist side by side in this season and offer us a glimpse at the Word made flesh.
In this season, we are permitted to embrace the human side of Christmas. Christ comes to us in physical form and becomes for us God’s active power in the world. “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
We are permitted to learn from the things that hold our attention, bring us joy, or make us cry. We dwell in these places, and they have lessons to teach us. Maybe the lesson is that God’s incarnation is ultimate love coming to dwell with us in everything. Perhaps it is to learn that God’s love is limitless. Maybe it is to learn that it is okay to intermingle our humanness with our holiness.
Christ came to show us what it means to be made in the image of God. The true coming of Christ is the coming of Christ into our lives as the universal Christ who has existed with God from the beginning. It is the coming of Christ not to construct a religion with limitations but to build a life of love in all of its fullness.
If merry minions next to an inflatable nativity make you chuckle, then chuckle in love. If offering a blessing with family and friends over enchiladas and margaritas makes you grateful, then offer the prayer every time.
Christ comes to us wholly human and wholly divine, and gives us permission to live, to laugh, and to love.