And now for something hot off the presses: this thought comes from a Christmas letter I received today from the lovely McGeown’s in Belfast. They’re a delightful family and they shared such wisdom in this final paragraph of their (hilariously witty) letter. (Be it known that this Presbyterian loves to dance!)
The puritans had a lot of good points, I’m sure, but I think they really missed the point when they banned Christmas, even if it was often used as an excuse for excess, then as now. Still, some things deserve to be celebrated. Presbyterians have always struggled a bit with celebration. We are a little uncertain about rejoicing, which always seems a rather extrovert thing to do, a bit like dancing. Our self-consciousness reserve holds us back from anything approaching the flamboyant. And yet God’s coming to us, to be with us in all our struggles, surely deserves some exuberance. The response to incarnation should have more of the samba beat about it than the dirge. The needs of a suffering world don’t go away but we are called to remind ourselves that the burden is not ours alone to bear. Christ stands with us. That’s what we celebrate in Christmas. So let your hair down!