The message of Christmas began as something quite uncomplicated. An angel appeared to a few ordinary humans and said “I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.”
Sadly, this good news has been made extremely complex. Theologians created systems for something that is not systematic. Scholars dissected and debated, confusing everyone and causing all meaning to be questioned. Others started movements, attached dos and don’ts, suggested conditions, and placed great burdens on their adherents. The man-made hurdles are endless.
In the midst of this, I find myself wondering … What if I could forget all the additions to the very basic message? What if nobody had ever told me I had to pray the magic prayer, live a certain way, associate only with people of one belief system, listen to lectures on a regular basis, read the right books, attend various meetings, hold specific political views (which vary, depending upon the leader I’m following), do certain activities while abstaining from others, etc.?
What if all I knew was that I am a regular guy who sometimes works long hours trying to eke out a living in a fallen world full of blessings, trials, wonder, and horrors. My life consists of good days and bad. Friends and family members who sometimes laugh also face financial trouble or bravely fight unspeakable disease. We all struggle with the “why” questions, wondering if there is any lasting happiness or meaning to this life.
And, like the men on that first Christmas, during one night that started off as any other night, an angel—an ANGEL no less—appears to me and says “I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.”
Good news … Great joy … For all the people … A Savior. And none of the baggage that’s been added by man for 2000 years.
Maybe it really is just as simple as that. Merry Christmas.
(Thank you, Ronel, for sharing the meditation that revved up this line of thinking in my soul.)