When the original Christmas story happened, three magi, or magicians came to help tell the story. Which is interesting, because the Israelites disdained magicians. They were evil and wrong, but God used them in ways that no one could have predicted.
And so in that spirit, I’d like you to watch the above video.
Whatever you think about Stephen Colbert, I think you should watch this clip. It was from this past Thursday night episode of the Colbert Report, Stephen is interviewing the Catholic Nun Simone Campbell…and it’s incredible.
For those of you who don’t know Stephen Colbert is actually a devout Catholic who teaches Sunday school every week at his local church. I know the character he plays can be incredibly offensive and off-putting, but he’s speaking the very specific language of satire, and satire is not for everyone.
But I don’t want to defend Mr. Colbert here, I just want to show you (in case you missed it) what aired on the cable network of Comedy Central this last week, the day before the tragic school shooting in Connecticut. This Sister is pushing against the modern conceptions of American Christmas and trying to reframe what the real Christmas story means.
And if you don’t watch the video, here is what I want you to hear her say, “Christmas is touching the pain of the world, experiencing it as real…and then choosing to have hope.”
That’s what Christmas was.
That’s what Christmas is.
So for our brothers and sisters in Connecticut trying to explain this evil to their children.
To the husband holding his wife’s hand as she slips away into the age to come.
To the senior saint who’s sitting at at a table for one this Christmas eve.
To the woman in the Sudan who prays for someone to send her children food.
Christmas doesn’t turn a blind eye to you.
Jesus entered the world in a time when Herod was committing genocide on children. Christmas doesn’t skip this tragedy, or any tragedy, it runs into it.
Christmas calls Christians everywhere to touch the pain of the world, experience it as real, and then to hope.
Or in the words of Mrs. Campbell, “Jesus invites you to the manger.”