So you want to put Christ back into Christmas, do you? I keep seeing your indignant messages on Facebook, so I’m assuming you must mean it.
But first, we must figure out who this Jesus Christ really is. We can’t focus on a cute little baby in a manger, tended by a glowing mother, receiving gifts from important foreigners, and lullabied to sleep by singing angels. The very beginning of life for Jesus was tainted by uncaring people who refused to help the homeless, and it didn’t get any better for the next 33 years. He was ridiculed, mocked, scorned, abused---rejected by his own---and eventually wrongly convicted and executed.
That’s the Christ you want to put back into Christmas?
The one who, when handed a scroll while teaching in the synagogue in Nazareth, said: The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free…? The one who, when telling a parable, actually put himself behind bars when he said: I was in prison and you visited me. That Christ?
It seems to me that if you mean what you say, it might be time to
-befriend a prisoner, with visits, letters and cards (unconditionally, no strings attached)
-do what you can to help a prisoner’s family during this difficult time
-offer your support to a prison ministry not only with prayers, but with dollars
-persuade your church that mission fields are not only in foreign lands
-personally communicate with your state and federal legislators regarding such subjects as prison reform and mass incarceration.
Walking the walk, that’s the key. Not just talking the talk.
Then, I believe, the Christ, who we put back into Christmas, will say, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers (and sisters) of mine, you did for me.