“Why do Christians celebrate Christmas?” This was the conversation question.
“It started when Saint Nicholas started giving gifts to children. I’m an atheist, so that’s how I think Christmas began.”
“I’m a romantic, and want to have a lovely wedding in a church someday, so I can’t be an atheist, but I think those stories in the Bible are myths like Zeus.”
I listened because this was about practicing English, but then I said that I choose to believe that the stories are true, and when you read the stories about Jesus, you can see that He was such a beautiful person, the way He talked with people and loved them.
Then the conversation went to the funny ways I use words. I say a dog is ‘handsome’ and I say Jesus is ‘beautiful.’ “You can’t do this in our language!”
We laughed, and they left after I hugged them at the door, wishing them lovely Christmases. But it’s true: Jesus is a beautiful person, even if Isaiah said there was nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance, nothing to attract us to Him. I wish I could have heard how Jesus read Isaiah’s words about the blind seeing and the captives given liberty. I wish I could have seen Him talking with children and the broken woman accused of adultery.
I’m thinking these days of how earthy Jesus was, how dust and bad smells and conflict was part of His world, and He didn’t run away from it, or think Himself above it.
Our grime and fracturedness is nothing new to Him. It was for the broken and shattered ones that He came, and I think that’s beautiful beyond words.
A related post: My Commander in Chief