Saturday, December 24, 2011

Grinch, Charlie and Rudolph Tell a Story...

The message of a story can be mined over and over again, 
continually surprising us 
and enlarging our capacity to receive truth.

John Shea, Catholic theologian and author,
suggests that cultures everywhere 
have been telling stories of Christ's birth
to break open the deeper meaning of the holiday.  
Our best secular tales awaken us anew 
to the mystery embedded within Christmas.

Advent is about transformation, the change of heart 
which occurs when we recognize Immanuel, God is with us. 
This is Grinch's story.
When the Grinch realizes that 
all his efforts could not steal Christmas, 
he has a change of heart and a change of character.  
He can never be the same again.
Shea points to the real message 
of Charlie Brown's Christmas
when the Peanuts gang finally rally around Charlie Brown 
and around an unloved and unwanted tree 
to proclaim the Christmas message. 
And there is Rudolph, the Rejected Reindeer, 
who becomes a light in the darkness,
the one who shows the way as nobody else can. 
These truths of our Christmas faith:
The true meaning of Christmas
can never be stolen from a seeking heart.
And even from a heart that is more 
Grinchlike than Christlike.
That which is weak, vulnerable, and rejected 
has the power to change us, if we let it. 
The miracle on 34th Street
is the miracle everywhere.
While truth can't be proven, 
it can be known,
and the childlike know it best.
A child is born Savior of the world.
Immanuel has come to us.
May our stories be mixed with those already written
to awaken the wonder in others,
so that the wonder of Christmas
is awakened anew.

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