In this school of thought the birth of Jesus fundamentally changed our place in the cosmos in relation to God and to the spiritual element of all creation. We joined with an overlapping universe, the Kingdom of God. Now since spell check is having trouble with adaptations of the word incarnation, I’ll refer to this line of thought as Christmas theology or Christmas People.
For the Christmas People, Easter becomes a sad event, but not important to living in this overlapping universe. Sin is present in our multi dimension universe, but it is the result of the brokenness of our original universe and is the result of something that needs to be healed.
How does this ancient line of thinking work in a real world? The two year old throws a temper tantrum in the grocery store. We don’t look at the child as being bad and needing punishment but as overwhelmed and in need of a quiet time. And no, he’s not going to get the candy he’s screaming over. The candy isn’t the issue. His emotional state is the issue and needs to be addressed by assuring him he’s loved and meeting his need for solitude and rest. Perhaps this particular toddler needs more maturity before he can go to the store. Grocery shopping may become a chore that happens only when he has someone to stay with him at home or only when the shopper can get out of the store before the child is overwhelmed. The child’s environment is changed to meet the needs of his immature nervous system.
What about the wife who commits adultery? The law says we can stone her and her husband can divorce her. Jesus didn’t condemn her. The Christmas Christian asks what is broken that caused this woman to betray her husband. The Christmas Christian tries to construct a life centered on healing, wholeness, and meeting the needs of others. In such an environment, adultery isn’t possible so it is seen as a breakdown in the whole environment. It is also seen as something that can be fixed. When the brokenness is healed, the woman and those around her will be stronger and better than before. The role of Jesus in Christmas Christianity is that of the healer, and he can heal because of the overlap between the universe of God and our universe.
So, despite the cataclysmic overlap between two universes that had once been separate, why is our world such a mess? We exist with and interact with the Christmas Universe, but we are not in the Christmas Universe. A powerful segment of our society will not consider the possibility of peaceful co-existence. Some people are driven solely by greed and will not consider an alternative to greed. Some people are driven by the need for power and will not consider an alternative to power over others. Way too many people in positions of influence are still the toddler having a tantrum in the grocery store.
Can we change our world? Yes, of course. The image I have for the Christmas person is a scene we see in many action films. The bombs explode, flames shoot into the air, smoke and dust obscure our vision, then we see the hero calmly walk away from the chaos. This is the vision of the Christmas person. The world may be going to hell in a hand basket, but the Christmas person continues on their way making music, painting pictures, telling stories, designing bridges and planes, exploring the cosmos, walking in the woods, and growing a garden. Yes, the Christmas person feeds the hungry, clothes the naked and listens to the problems of those in need. The Christmas people give what they can of their prayers, their presence, their gifts, and their service. Christmas people can be found in churches, at work, in the woods, in service clubs, in the fire department, in hospitals, shelters, and schools. Christmas people can be found on Facebook and Twitter. They may or may not believe in God or attend a church, but they do believe in loving their neighbor and doing what they can to help others. The hope is, that there are enough Christmas people that one day all the individual islands of peace and healing will join into communities of peace and healing that join larger communities, until one day, there will be peace on earth. It all starts with the Christmas people.