I'm reading the book of James, which was written by Jesus' brother, and I notice something cool.
James writes in a proverbsy style, circling around from theme to theme, then back again. And one theme keeps me wondering if he's thinking about his Brother -
Because one idea that echoes and re-echoes is "be doers of the word, and not hearers only [...] faith apart from works is dead [...] by his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom." (James 1:22, 2:26, 3:13)
My kids love hearing their birth stories. Sam's, weighted with giving and love; Vava's, scary and dramatic and triumphant; Kachi's, happy and easy; Pascal's, funny and horrid and fast. They love hearing about the days they each made their way into the world.
And if the book of James is any clue, I'd say that Jesus' family loved that too. Because this book, like their big brother's Nativity story, is drenched with the idea that faith does.
Faith receives God's Word, like Mary, like Joseph. Faith goes far, like Jesus, like the wise men. Faith waits, like Simeon, like Anna. Faith rejoices, like the shepherds, the angels. Faith does.
Christmastime? Christians everywhere, working hard to show more love, to give more generously, to pray with more diligence, worship with devoted hearts ... that potent mix of doing and believing.
Giving. Sharing. Serving. Loving. Worshiping. Waiting. Rejoicing.
It breaks my heart wide open, the way you live the Nativity every year, you beautiful ordinary, messy, crazy family.
Merry Christmas, friends.