The following was written by the Rev. Mary Chang of the Lutheran Church of Incarnation in Cedarhurst
For the zeal of the Christmas season, you can see that everywhere is filled up with decorations, the scents of cinnamon sticks, ginger cookies, pine trees, lights, and music. I love Christmas season; it’s a wonderful time to see families gathering and to see individuals reaching out to the less fortunate beings. It is time to spread the love to others; even to strangers who are also our fellow citizens. Isn’t that the true meaning of Christmas?
I had just returned from a trip to China. Surprised to see that even in Shanghai, Beijing and across a lot of other big and small cities, all the things related to Christmas we are used to in the United States, there they are also in China. How does the world relate to our faith? How do the commercial world relate to the centerpiece of Christ? This challenges us to bring the ‘old’ Good News — the New Born King to our new 21st Century population unfamiliar with Christ. How can we sustain ourselves to continue to have faith in Christ to celebrate this very special day of the year?
It is true that the history of celebrating Christmas has been more than a thousand years. Can we tell the Old Old Story in a New version?
I thought about our city, New York, post 9-11, erecting The Harvest Tower in Manhattan. The beauty of the Tower standing up tall to show off the elegance of it’s shining and astonishing structure. It was a great achievement by the team of experts in order to protect and preserve the inside of an old building which was constructed in 1920’s. I sincerely admired the architecture of a genius team with such creativities to achieve the vision of this project. One can only begin to imagine all of the voices of disagreement and opinions that went into such an intense project. All the collaboration it must have taken to bring this idea of covering an old building with a new triangular glass-look exterior. The strong leadership for such a project is very admirable as well. Just think about the amount of time, endless energy, tremendous efforts, and finances that went in to making it happen. The persistent hard work of a team resulted in an excellent building standing tall and proud amongst all of the other buildings in New York City. This shows us that humanity, trusting in the gifts of creativity from God, working as a team can turn a ‘mission impossible’ into an excellent accomplishment.
The most impossible mission was accomplished when God gave His Only Begotten Son to achieve a mission for us. God renewed and turned inside out an old life of death and sin into a protection of shining life of eternity. He granted us the position to be Children of God, the day when Christ was born until His death on the Cross and raised up again, and up to heaven. Now He is watching over you and me, at the right hand of the almighty God. We must think about God’s Gift to us on Christmas and remember the abundance of His grace and blessings. May this Christmas be one that will awaken our faith in God. With many of His blessings.