It's that time of year again where we find trees in living rooms, wreaths on doors, strings of lights on light posts, and continuous [cheesy-which I happen to love] Christmas movies on every single night [thanks to the Hallmark channel]. It's the time when people go from store to store, checking their lists and checking them twice. It's the time when you spend hours cooking an extravagant meal for your loved ones, when temptation of throwing in the towel is just beneath the horizon when you realize that the oven was never turned on in the first place. Through the chaos of it all, I think it's important that we stop in the silence of the Christmas music, hustle and bustle of shopping, and the aroma of the holiday meal so that we can focus on the reason for the season.
When we turn our minds to the reason for the season, we come face to face with our beliefs. Maybe you resonate with many beliefs or maybe you aren't sure what you believe in. It makes me think of one of my favorite Christmas movies, "Miracle on 34th Street". The reoccurring theme of the movie is "believe". Dorey Walker and her daughter, Susan, are skeptics of the man who travels around the world in one night with a nice and naughty list in hand with every child's name listed. The movie follows the relationship they have with Kris Kringle, the Macy's Christmas Santa, and the controversy the city of New York faces when it comes to believing without seeing.
Last Christmas, the series I wrote was the Cast of Christmas, but this year, I'm going to change it up a bit. Instead of going through only the Nativity Story, I want to write about the core of the holiday season...believing. No matter what religion we practice, our actions often stem from our beliefs. A couple years ago, I was asked to write out a list of my beliefs and honestly, I had a hard time with it. So I'd like to challenge you to sit down and write out a list of your beliefs. It can be about life in general. It can be about faith and religion. It can be about the holiday season specifically. Let's focus on believing this holiday season. It may be difficult and in fact, you may find that it's easier to write about what you don't believe in.
My inspiration for this topic came from the book, "Letters from a Skeptic: A Son Wrestles with His Father's Questions about Christianity" by Gregory Boyd and Edward Boyd. Just like Dorey and Susan in Miracle on 34th Street, this father-son duo ask some difficult questions and explore the depths (or lack-thereof) of their beliefs. I'll be sharing bits and pieces of their challenging conversation in hopes to begin discussion and aid in the strengthening of beliefs. It's amazing what the end result can be when we question, explore, and believe. I would say that Dorey, Susan, Gregory and Edward would all agree that through the wrestling, joy and hope can be born.
Bible Reading Plan: Ezekiel 16-30