Merry Christmas! Last night I gave a meditation for North Fresno Church's Christmas Eve service. The inspiration for the short devotional came from a sermon by Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Christmas Day of 1999 in the National Cathedral (see The aWAKE Project). He noted that the birth of Jesus is like God's graffiti announcing, "I love you with a love that cannot change."
For most of us the Christmas story has lost its jarring sense of surprise. It no longer shocks us like it should; like graffiti scrawled across a freeway overpass, school building or sanctuary wall. If we forget about the cards, carols and dramatic presentations we're left with a very simple text full of odd twists and surprises.
If you are interested in reading an abbreviated version of my message click here (this is a piece I published through Fresno Pacific University's "Scholars Speak" forum). Here is an excerpt:
Where would God show up? I do not know, but there is one thing I am sure of: He wouldn’t be in the places or with the people I would expect. This is the danger of discrimination. Nazareth, Bethlehem, unwed mothers, stables, shepherds—all the stuff of first-century discrimination. I wonder, would God appear with the people I am most prejudiced against? Will He continue to come to the places I and others might find offensive?