Engaging Life
by Lori Heine

In the bewildering swirl of life today, we often feel helpless. Worse than helpless, we feel marginalized and disengaged. We are powerless minorities in a world that seems to despise us. Of what consequence, really, are we?

This December, the month is almost totally going to be taken over by the juggernaut we call Christmas. It’s more than a holiday; it’s an entire season. And for more than a month, it seems to sweep everything else aside. People get caught up in it even if they do not believe in it or wish to celebrate it at all.

But Jesus – the One whose birthday is “the reason for the season” – was not always such a consequential fellow. He was born to an obscure family, in an obscure place. He came into this world a helpless baby, in a humble stable, born to a people conquered and enslaved. He began His life at the mercy of forces seemingly beyond His control – and He ended that life in the same condition.

Jesus’ birthday has not been celebrated, these past 2,000 years, as an entire season of each year because He was obscure or powerless. Jesus engaged life – grabbed a hold of it with gusto, participating in it fully, with energy and zeal – and He ended up transforming history. He gave His all to humankind, and saw God’s will for Him through to the end. He did not live and die for mere helpless nobodies; He lived, and died, and then rose again, for us.

God did not send “His” only Son for nobodies; “He” sent Jesus the Christ for us. Even in the midst of the busy season, even as we seem to be swept aside, we can remember that Christ does rate a whole season of each year because He came for us. We matter because He matters – and vice versa.

Life in this busy world matters because we live it. And because God chose to live it, in Jesus, right along with us. We may be down, but we are not out. We may be “out,” but, in Christ, we are accepted. And if He is for us, then who can stand against us?

Let’s engage life this Christmas season. Jesus found life well worth living for our sake. It can be well worth living – to us – for His. In the heart and mind of God, we may be down and out, but we are always loved. God was with Christ from His birth until His death – and then God raised Him anew. We can be sure God will go the same distance with us.

By all means, let’s allow ourselves to be caught up in the swirl, knowing we are safely in God’s hands. We celebrate the season because God celebrates us.

© 2010 Lori Heine

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