Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Birthday Boy

We must be getting close to Christmas because my in-box has been flooded with inspirational thoughts and stories concerning the day. Most of these forwards are reminders that it’s Jesus’ birthday, not ours. They are full of statements like, “How would you feel if on your birthday everyone got a present except for you?” and “I want to be invited to your party.” My in-box is flooded with warnings that if I do not remember it’s Jesus’ birthday I will hurt Jesus’ feelings.

This doesn’t sit well with me. For one thing, I think it makes Jesus sound like a spoiled child who doesn’t want to let go of his birthday. I mean, most of us get 70, 80, 90 years of birthdays to celebrate. Shouldn’t Jesus be happy that he’s had 2000 celebrations thus far? This whole birthday thing does not sit well with me.

I’m all for remembering Jesus birth, please don’t mishear me. But I want something more. I am not content remembering Christmas simply as the day Jesus was born. Christmas marks the coming down of God Incarnate. Christmas reminds us that God was fully in the man Jesus. Christmas is not about celebrating a birthday, it’s about celebrating the incarnation.

By simply calling Christmas Jesus’ birthday we are selling the day short. To simply remember Christmas as Jesus’ birthday is no different than celebrating the birth of any other great person. On Christmas Day we remember Jesus not simply as the birthday boy, but as God Incarnate. That’s the really meaning of Christmas.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

My 911 Power Trip

I went from 25 years of never dialing those three important numbers, to calling 9-1-1 twice in one week.

This was originally prompted by my decision to "not pass the buck" on the road. After seeing a large box in the middle a busy intersection, my initial reaction of, "Oh, that's dangerous, someone should do something about that," gave way to, "Oh, that's dangerous, I should call 9-1-1 and tell them."

So I did. I remained calm on the line and gave them the name of the intersection. And I must confess, I got a little bit of a power trip to see police cruisers racing towards the intersection. I watched the cruisers with their sirens blazing and thought, "Yeah, I did that."

A few days later I got another opportunity to call my operating friend at 9-1-1 and report that the stop lights at a Philly intersection were out and that cars were just barely missing each other. While I didn't get to stick around for the action, I was somewhat excited to get passed on the highway by a police cruiser heading towards the dangerous intersection. Again the smug thought, "Yeah, I did that."

The next time you feel the urge for a power trip, rather than taking it out on your spouse/child/coworkers/pet/etc. just take a drive and see what you can find.