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Endings and the Christmas Story

December 29, 2010

By Frederick W. Schmidt

Christmas has brought another round of reflections on the message of the season, and I've been struck by how many people are now describing it in terms of power:

"It is the season in which we celebrate the defeat of imperial power." "It is the season we celebrate the power of the powerless."

Language of this kind is everywhere and it is striking because the original Christmas celebration made little or nothing of power. The most telling words describing the incarnation are those of the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). While it describes the scattering of the proud, the casting down of the mighty, and the lifting up of the lowly, each is a manifestation of the strength of God's arm, God's faithfulness, and God's mercy.

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