Christmas is a Reminder – Love is Here

Rustic manger and star
A rustic barn frame with a manger and a white-wrapped bundle in it against a dark background lit by a large star. Image licensed from Envato Elements.

On Christmas we are regathered and invited to let Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love re-awaken within us so that we can spread Divine Love wherever we go. 

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More than once this week someone said to me, “Christmas is the most important holiday for Christians.” After the third or fourth time I heard this statement, I questioned it. Is Christmas really the most important holy day for Christians?

I wish it was, in a way. Christmas used to be a minor holiday. Before that it wasn’t even celebrated; Epiphany was the significant holiday. Christmas as a holy day developed along with a more capitalistic approach. Either way, I kind of wish we all paid a little more attention to the “churchy” part of Christmas.

And I don’t mean attending worship on Christmas Eve, necessarily, although please do! I mean the whole point of the weird and wonderful Christmas story. You know, that moment when Divine Love enters the world anew. That moment when agape (universal, limitless, unconditional love) becomes possible after a year of debris from living has obscured our faith and hope just a bit (or a lot!).

While this year may feel particularly heavy, most years contain more than their share of war, violence, sickness, death, and grief. By the time we get to the longest night, we tend to wonder if nights will ever grow shorter again.

Placing Christmas in proximity to the Winter Solstice was brilliant, and clearly done by someone who lived in the northern hemisphere. Just when night is the longest and the darkness is the deepest, the sun shines just a little bit longer the very next day. And then Divine Love bursts into the world again.

We need the reminder. Every year. Some years more than others. However, we always need the reminder that Love is always possible. Love is always present. In fact, we are called together to be the embodiment of a Love that knows no limits.

This is the perfect flash of hope in the midst of everything else. We can dust ourselves off and know that Love is here, again. It never really left. We are the ones who wander far from the manger and lose track of the guiding star.

On Christmas we are regathered and invited to let Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love re-awaken within us so that we can spread Divine Love wherever we go.

May we all meet at the manger and experience the surprising Love of God breaking into the world, breaking into our lives once again.

Merry Christmas!


About Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ. She was called to Living Table in 2015 after serving in many varied ministry settings since her ordination in 1992. She holds graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). Her ministry and leadership often center around advocacy and accessibility. Her writing has been published by Chalice Press, The Christian Century, Red Letter Christians, Working Preacher, RevGalBlogPals, and others. She is grateful to be in ministry with Living Table today.

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