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You can call it X-mas, the Holidays, or Christmas … some other variation or, (gasp) none of the above;  for you see, the name doesn’t really matter.  What matters is bigger than a season and much bigger than a “reason.”  What matters is what we feel , what we witness, what we know during this time of year.

Friends from long ago, gathered.  Family widely scattered, gathered.  All sharing stories that stretch the truth a bit, all sharing memories that exaggerate the actual events.  Raising a toast, or two, or three with a good beer.  Love suffocating air.  Flirty glances exchanged across the room, playing a dance of expectation until the kiss under the mistletoe.  Grudges resolved and forever buried, for a new year is ahead.  The past seeming but a distant memory, the future filled with hope and expectation … for this will be the year.   Strangers giving generously, as if long time friends.  Children with wide eyes of wonder, taking it all in.

Yes, there’s a magic in the air during the Christmas season.

And all of that … all of the sharing, the laughing, the kissing, the toasting, the embracing, the stories, the magic, that smell in the air … all of that is beautiful and sacred.  All of that, I believe, is because of Jesus.  It doesn’t matter when He was born, just that He is alive.  It doesn’t matter if the day is named after Him, just that the events exist because of Him.  He is here, the spiritual dancing amid the natural.  He is with us, the Holiest amid the seeking.

One might even say something like, “the kingdom of Heaven is like a family gathered together for Christmas dinner.”  Or, “the kingdom of God is like two long time lovers rediscovering the joy of each other under the mistletoe.”

Let us choose to see more than just Christmas this season.  Let us be about the things that invite heaven to earth.  Let us give graciously, love deeply, and hope confidently.  Let’s believe the kingdom really is among us.

May you and yours have a very Merry Christmas.  A Christmas filled with moments of inspiration, memories, silly laughter, unexpected surprises, and whimsical look’s into the eyes of another.  A Christmas where every moment is filled with the realities of “God with us”.  Of, God with you.

May you and yours be blessed.