Glade jul by Viggo Johansen (1891)

Christmastime in all moments

By Ernesto Tinajero

As I smell the chocolate and the taste the candy cane I remember an important insight: Christianity is a religion of time. We, Christians, look forward to the birth of a baby and then a life a common peasant in first century Palestine. We then look forward to time of return of this same man, who we consider to be God incarnate. Such a view of time, wrapped in the life, death, resurrection and return, gives Christians a unique vision of the present, future and past. On Christmas, we don’t look to the past as we bring the past of Jesus life into our present with an eye toward the future. As my son open his presents, I experience the presence of God’s grace and see the whole of life as a gift. The eternal becomes present in the presence of Jesus.

Knowing this presence of the baby who is God, who will grow up as a man and die as victim of the violence we all share, I am filled with awe and wonder. As I wrestle with my son, all is revealed as grace and I filled with a light that can be named love. Time folds in on itself and I see my wife as a gift. My friends at church as a gift. All the sea self doubts parts and I can walk in the middle of them and marvel at the miracle of being alive. Yes, the Egyptian army is hot on the trail, death will come, but without sting as all of life remains a bonus.

Time, for a Christian, means find the living God present in the smallest details like a crying baby, a plane ride back east for another surgery for my son, and in the simple sharing of a meal with my family. As I look into the eyes of my wife, I remember once God had human eyes that looked out into the city of Jerusalem and blessed it, even as people very much like me called for his death.

Christmastime is here means the whole of my life wraps up into the whole of eternity from the birth of the universe to the end of time in the very moment I am alive. I am alive to God’s Glory in all things. Christmastime means the triumphant move of love made flesh. Christmastime fills always in all moments with the light of love in Christ Jesus.

About Ernesto Tinajero

Art, says Ernesto Tinajero, comes from the border of what has come before and what is coming next. Tinajero uses his experience studying poetry and theology to write about the intersecting borders of art, poetry and religion.

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One comment

  1. Thank you for this blessed word. I’ll highlight your post on the Christian Poets & Writers blog http://www.christianpoetsandwriters.com.

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