Back to work

The good news of Christmas is that Jesus was born. Not descended fully formed, as if he could ascend and descend at will. Not breaking through a movie screen, two dimensions suddenly turning into three. Born.

That is good news on the weekday Thursday after Christmas Day, when some of us still have to go to work. It would be decades before Jesus turned water into wine and made a wedding wonderful. Until then, he got up and went to bed. He went back to work after the feasts. He had a great reputation, “growing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man,” but it didn’t happen instantly. It happened faithfully, obediently, daily, routinely.

It is not forgetting the wonder of Christmas to go to work. It’s living the life of the Wonder of Christmas. (Tweet that)

That birth is good news when some of us have to go to the mall to replace Christmas gifts from optimistic well-meaning gift-givers. There is no gift I can give you that knows and meets the ache in your heart. The ache no one else knows about because you are too polite, too caring, too giving to share. If there is going to be a perfect gift, it’s going to have to be something living, responsive, understanding of my strengths and weaknesses. Something, someone, born and living.

The birth is good news for those who live in the middle of blood. There’s at least a chance that a kid born in the blood of childbirth into a family of questionable reputation might understand those of questionable reputation.

The story of the Incarnation is not that Jesus showed up for the Christmas party. It’s that he stayed to clean up the aftermath. And replace the insufficient gifts. All by himself.

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.