There's quite a cast and crew that comes with Christmas every year: Scrooge, The Grinch, Clark Griswold, George Bailey, Kevin McAlister, Buddy the Elf, not to mention Jolly Old St. Nick. All of that on top of the real people, from the real story of Christmas: Shepherds, the Angel Gabriel, Wise Men, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and of course the Christ-Child himself.
I want us to think for a brief minute about a few folks from the "cast and crew" of the season and what they can teach us and add to our lives.
Scrooge, the Grinch, etc: They teach us that lives can change, and that Jesus can be the source of Joy where there was none before. They remind us that loneliness and isolation can be a terrible thing and that as Christian people we ought to rememebr the lonely and those who are hurting, especailly during this time of year.
The Shepherds: They were minding their own business, watching their flocks when all of a sudden the Angels came to annouce Christ's birth. God told them it was good news of great Joy! They remind us that God works in His time, not in ours. They remind us that God had a plan then and that He has a plan now.
The Wise Men: These guys didn't even know Christ and yet they travelled a great distance to find Him. They teach us about the pursuit of discipleship. They remind us that we need to be willing to 'go the distance' in our walk with Jesus.
The Blessed Virgin Mary: Pregnant and full of joy, she wants to share her good news with her cousin Elizabeth. She reminds us that the only right response to the presence of Jesus Christ is joy and the spreading of joy. In bringing forth Jesus Christ, she is obedient, she is patient, she is caring and she reminds us that God cooperates with men and women to bring forth His goodness in every age.
The Christ-Child: Truly God, and Truly Man, He teaches us how much we are loved. We are loved so much that God the Son became one of us, moved into the neighborhood, wrote himself into the story. He did it to teach us, to heal us, to redeem us, and to love us. The baby in the manger is Love itself, come down for you.
Beyond all of these, we each have our own unique people that come with Christmas each year: aunt, uncles, grandparents, friends, sons, daugthers, and all of the rest. These are people God has given us. As we celebrate Christ's birth this year and we think on the One who is Love, we are given an oportunity to spread his Love to them and to all.
Merry Christmas! And God bless us, everyone!