Christmas is over; the candy and cookies are applied directly to my waist. The lights are fading and the carols have ceased.
Was all this planning and decorating for nothing? What is the “so what?” of Christmas?
In the calm aftermath, I would like to share some beautiful Christmas quotations with you as we change the calendar over to a new (and better!) year.
Take a deep breath and enjoy:
When people reach for God, we call it religion. When God reaches for people, we call it Christmas.
An ordinary night with ordinary sheep and ordinary shepherds. And were it not for a God who loves to hook an “extra” on the front of ordinary, the night would have gone unnoticed. The sheep would have been forgotten, and the shepherds would have slept the night away. But God dances amidst the common. And that night he did a waltz.
- Max Lucado, The Applause of Heaven
The whole concept of God taking human shape had never made much sense to me. That was because I realized one wonderful day, it was so simple. For people with bodies, important things like love have to be embodied. That’s all. God had to be embodied, or else people with bodies would never in a trillion years understand about love.
- Jane Vonnegut Yarmolinsky, Angels Without Wings
The virgin birth has never been a major stumbling block in my struggle with Christianity; it’s far less mind-boggling than the Power of all Creation stooping so low as to become one of us.
- Madeleine L’Engle, A Stone for a Pillow
Mary’s story…tells us that if the Scriptures don’t sometimes pierce us like a sword, we’re not paying close enough attention.
- Kathleen Norris, The Cloister Walk
Christmas demands faith, because Christmas is a mystery. Our reason cannot succeed in trying to understand how God could possibly have loved us to such a degree. The shepherds are given a sign. They will find him in a manger. There the infant Jesus had been placed…a sign of extreme poverty and of God’s supreme humility. Such a thing baffles the intellect. It teaches us that to welcome the message of Christ, the Divine Redeemer, reason must be laid aside. Only humility, which melts into trust and adoration, can comprehend and welcome God’s saving humility.
- Pope John Paul II, Draw Near to God
The Son of God became man to enable men [people] to become the sons of God.
- C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Our trouble is we want the peace without the Prince [Isa 9:6].
- Addison Leitch
He became what we are, that He might make us what He is.
- St. Athanasius, 295-373 AD.
We must speak in practical terms. Either Christ’s coming has meaning for us now, or else it means nothing at all.
- Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
With gratitude, we celebrate the past so that we can continue to know his love and grace in the future. Happy New Year!