Today is Christmas and soon my family will rise to start the day. In the quiet moments before anyone else is awake, I’m thinking about the beginning. I was fortunate to go on a pilgrimage this year to Israel and visit the site where Jesus was born. So simple, more of a cave than a stable. Likely surrounded by sheep, which seems fitting since he became the shepherd for all people.
I’ve had a rippling impact from that visit, but what has stuck with me the most is the simplicity of it all. Jesus loved people. Period. He spoke honestly, lovingly, but also held people accountable. We complicate that simplicity by adding rules that are less about love. But if I think back to what it would have been like in the beginning, it was a baby, brought into this world because God loves us. Brought to save us.
What if today we remembered that simplicity? Refused to get caught up in the frenzy. Remembered that the greatest gift of all was that Jesus loved everybody.
That would be a very Merry Christmas.