How ironic that a big-shot tyrant can move the world for tax purposes while God’s only Son is birthed in some backwater stable in an overcrowded town, noticed by a couple of scraggly, smelly shepherds. How could God the Father allow such a stark contrast?

By the way, Caesar’s full name? Much in today’s news? Notable, quotable sayings? Draws a blank in my mind. Okay, his name is Caesar Augustus, but that’s actually his titles, not his birth name. What about the name of that baby born in Bethlehem? Any guesses? Much in the news? Keeping who in Christmas?

Such irony–Caesar (not the salad!) and Jesus (yes, the One and Only Savior). It’s this great divide we think of during Advent. That heebie-jeebie tension carries over into our daily lives with how we think about and participate in this season. The tinsel effect versus focusing in on the coming Lord of all, Jesus.

Nothing wrong with giving gifts (my home address available upon request!), decorating shops, homes and apartments, sending greetings to friends and family, eating special food. The paradox sticks in our throats when that’s all there is about Christmas. Half-baked wink-and-nod to the Babe, ‘Frosty the Snowman’-type songs including too many Jingle Bells and Santa coming to town, along with itsy-bitsy glances at the story of Jesus’ birth found in your Bible, reluctantly giving teensy-weensy donations to Christian causes which need more like a 7-11 Big Gulp.

We know that we need more Jesus. Less Santa. More joy. Less grumpiness. More pondering. Less purchasing. More charitable open-handedness. Less tight-fistedness. We know that. Don’t we?

Not an easy balancing act. Somewhat like the circus performer, who whirls and spins plates on poles until the plates begin to wobble and fall. All need constant attention before crashing. This takes work. Determination and a keen eye. But no pain, no gain.

Ready for more Jesus? How about even more of His affectionately, confectionately loving of us.

Lord Jesus, I worship and love you. Amen.

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