They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Ireland, but boy, do they ever celebrate Christmas! Once the month of December rolls around in Dublin, you can be sure that the city has already been decked out with holiday décor for a few weeks. Any school, volunteer organization, special interest group, sports team, or social club will have an obligatory Christmas party at some point in the month. Sadly, many of these parties are nothing more than an excuse to over-indulge in food and drink. And though there is religious as well as secular holiday imagery in plain sight everywhere you turn, like here in the US, many people in Ireland have made this time of year about materialistic conquest rather than a period of contemplation on what it means for God to have become human.
But the Christmas holidays can be a great time for us to remember that in the incarnation, the Son of God became the Son of Man. We don’t have to lose sight of the fact that the most significant 30-33 years in world history occurred through the birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. In fact, the holiday season gives us all a great opportunity to talk to our friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors about our faith in Jesus. We might simply ask them what they think of Christmas or Jesus and see where the conversation goes. And as we would never limit our gratitude to one Thursday in November, so may our faith in Jesus be evident in January and beyond!