I read a portion of Adam Hamilton's book, Not a Silent Night, this morning. The book is written to lead the reader through looking at the life of Christ through the eyes of Mary. The chapter I'm reading right now is about the crucifixion - what would have been Mary's thoughts?
What caught my eye today is the connection between Christmas and crucifixion. Adam writes that the first ornament his family hangs on their Christmas tree is a replica of a Roman spike that would have been used in a crucifixion. They hang it close to the trunk of the tree; they know it is there, although visitors wouldn't notice it.
I wonder how it changes his family's experience of Christmas to have a spike hanging in their tree? How would it change yours and mine to remember the sacrifice and love offered by Christ? Could being reminded of the "end of the story" be a way to step back from the gift giving and santas for even just a moment?
Christmas is joy and beauty, lights in the darkness and love on the air. We don't really want it tainted by the sorrow and grief of Good Friday, do we?
I make cards, and one of the tricks in the art of card making is to include the shadows in the coloring, and to use a fine line black pen to darken the outlines. These tricks make the colors pop and bring the art to life, instead of leaving it one dimensional. Could the same idea be applied in this case? Does remembering the grief and sorrow make the joy that much more purposeful, make the lights that much more brighter? And does it clear away the clutter of the holiday so that we can see the Christ?