What Is It All About?
By Matthew Johnson
Student, MA in Theology
What’s in a gift? I don’t mean, What’s in the gift. I mean, What’s in a gift. It’s important you understand my emphasis. I mean it in the broad, contemplative way. Everyone, put on your existential thinking caps and let’s go on a little trip.
What do you think of when you think of Christmas? I have a feeling we thought of the same things. Santa? Check. Rudolf? Check. Egg Nog? Double check. But is this really the meaning of the season?
Being in a graduate theology program I cannot help but wonder, What is the meaning of Christmas? I ask this question with the same attitude and fervor of Charlie Brown: What is it all about? After Thanksgiving, instead of going shopping or doing homework, I read Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol and came across this little gem—Bob Cratchit describing young Tiny Tim’s behavior at their church Christmas service:
Somehow he gets thoughtful sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you ever heard. He told me, coming home, that he hoped the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant for them to remember upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and blind men see.
I’m still not really sure what the real meaning is, or what’s in the gift, but this is more interesting to me than another pair of underwear with my name stitched into them.