Look Beneath the Glitter – United Methodist Insight

The contrast is striking.

On the one hand, there is the glitter of Christmas, which often grows in early November (sometimes even in October!) And begins to descend the day after Christmas because people are ready to move on. Unfortunately, however, no glare can change what is below: beautifully decorated houses full of addictions, dysfunctional families, life-threatening illnesses, depression, meaningless jobs, hopelessness and base character.

On the other hand, the birth of a child from an unmarried woman in a dirty barn far from her family is almost unnoticed. The barn is full of clutter and mud animals, but it shines with divine love. The birth of a child does not try to hide real life, but essentially transforms it. This event is not just another holiday party, but the incarnation of the child Christ who came to save us with the gift of abundance and eternal life.

We are inextricably linked to the Christmas of splendor and incarnation. Yet too often, the Christmas glow shines so brightly that it’s hard to see the barn and all that it means. The point is not to get rid of all the things that make Christmas wonderful, although every year I am tempted to do it just when we have to take it all away, pack it and store it. Instead, it is to look under the glitter of Christmas and see the most beautiful sight in the world: a God who is so passionately in love with us that he became one of us to give us what we must have, but we can never get ours.

Yes, the contrast is striking. The Christmas glow always fades, falls off and blows away. The incarnation is eternal, beautiful and our ultimate hope.

Happy Christmas!


Bishop Gary Mueller serves as Vice President of the General Commission for UM Men. This announcement was republished from the commission’s website.





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