The Paradox of Christmas
Why is Christmas a paradox? Well, one way to define paradox is “a situation which (if true) defies logic or reason”.
So what is it about Christmas that defies logic? According to the video, the paradox of Christmas is the fact that God came to earth, not in pomp and splendor but as a little baby in a stable. That defies logic. That God came not to be served but to serve. That defies logic. That He would give up life in paradise to dwell on earth, knowing that one day he will need to die a painful death. That also defies logic.
This Christmas, I feel like Scrooge. I don’t know why I feel so melancholic this year. You would think that as a Christian, Christmas would be the most joyous time of the year for me. But I am in more of a contemplative mood instead.
I have never been big on Christmas anyway. Growing up in a Taoist background, Christmas has always been quite foreign to me. Instead of waking up to presents on Christmas morning, I woke up to watching American kids waking up to open Christmas presents on TV. I don’t think I ever ate Christmas Turkey or Ham until I was quite old. I guess that is why I have been so resistant about writing about Christmas feasts on this blog.
It wasn’t until I became a Christian in my teens that Christmas began to be more significant. But aside from attending Christmas service on Christmas day, the rest of the day was pretty much insignificant. It wasn’t until I got to know Rockett Girl that we started having some sort of family celebrations because her family was big on Christmas even though they too were not Christians at that stage. However, one of her Aunties was a Catholic, so there was always get-togethers during Christmas she even attended midnight mass to soak in the Christmas spirit. So my wife is always the one organizing the Christmas party, decorating the tree and buying the presents. Bah! Humbug!
Believe it or not, I am probably the only person in the world that doesn’t like the Christmas gift exchange. I find it very stressful. I do enjoy giving gifts to kids and seeing their joy when they open their presents, but I find receiving presents very stressful. I remember one year when I opened up my gift and got two bottles of mouthwash which looked like they were taken from some hotel room somewhere in China! I guess I just don’t like to feel insignificant when I get a thoughtless gift. On the other hand, I always find it stressful to pick a gift for someone else, especially those who are close to me. That’s because I want my gift to mean something to that person. I would be horrified if they opened the present and had the same reaction I had when I got my my two bottles of mouthwash!
I told you I feel like Scrooge. But please don’t let it affect you, it’s just me.
Although I have never doubted God’s intention when He gave us his Son as a gift on Christmas, I find that most of the time I know it more in my head than in my heart. That got me pondering about this question:
How do you feel love?
Happy, Sad and Angry is easy to define. But how does love feel?
When was the last time you felt loved by your parents, spouse, kids or friends? Was it through a present you received, some kind words of affirmation, some help you received or simply someone willing to spend some time with you? I guess all these are different ways of conveying one essential message, viz, that you are of significance and value to someone. And it is knowing that someone values you enough to do something significant for you that is when you feel loved.
I came across this video which was helpful in reminding myself again about my worth in God’s eyes. So often, I get distracted from the fact that God loves me because of who I am, not because of what I have done. In fact, it is more accurate to say that He loves me in spite of what I have or have not done. I am reminded that He knows all my struggles, all my innermost thoughts, all my imperfections and yet He loves me simply because He created me and I am of great value to Him.
God loves us so much, He gave us his Son. He values us so much that he was willing to give something significant. There is really no Paradox of Christmas, nothing that defies logic. The gift we receive reflects the our value in the eyes of the giver. On Christmas, God gave us His Son, because we are of great value to Him. He gave a precious gift, because we mean so much to him. There is no paradox.
Now I need to let it sink in so that the love is transmitted from my head to my heart so I can shake off this Scroogey demeanor!
Have a Blessed Christmas everyone and may you all find love, significance and value this Christmas!