Saturday, December 24, 2005

The deeper magic from before the dawn of time

I read with interest this blog entry about Christmas Christians. For ten years I was a Christmas Christian, from the time I refused to continue attending the Methodist Church with my parents, until the year that I realised that I could no longer put off becoming a Catholic. During that ten years I rarely missed going to a midnight Christmas service, sometimes Methodist, sometimes Church of England, although I don't remember ever darkening the doors of a Church at any other time. At some point my faith journey touched rock bottom, and for a while I counted myself an atheist, yet something about Christmas drew me to Church each year. Gradually faith returned, first with a vague theism and ultimately an acceptance of the essential Truth of Christianity. Finally I acknowledged that if I believed Christianity to be true then I had no choice but to act accordingly, and for me that pointed directly at Roman Catholicism. Despite never having entered a Catholic Church except as a tourist, and never having knowingly spoken to anyone who was Catholic, I gathered every ounce of courage I possessed and went to Mass for the first time. Once again, Christmas was the trigger - my first Mass was on the first Sunday of December, 1985.

I've been pondering why Christmas kept pulling me towards Christ despite myself. As a child I loved Christmas and all its trappings. I still do! Everything from the excitement of putting up the tree and feeling the weight of a stocking on my bed on Christmas morning, to singing carols, opening windows on an Advent calendar and attending Church on Christmas morning. Magical. And I wonder if that is the key. The true magic of Christmas is so much more than just the secular trappings and the little excitements; it is a window through which we glimpse the connection between heaven and earth forged by the birth of a baby in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. This, surely, is why the Christmas Christians come out of the woodwork each year. The magic of Christmas draws them towards "the deeper magic from before the dawn of time" it represents. Each year some of those Christmas Christians will come a little closer to its true meaning. And I remain eternally grateful that I was one of them, and in time learned to see the "deeper magic" for what it was.

1 comment:

Karen E. said...

Beautiful, Kathryn. My turn to weep at the keyboard.

Have a beautiful Christmas.