Christmas is about celebrating hope. The hope of a world crushed by shame but rescued by the coming of a savior in the birth of a child. This is Christ-mas.
The beginning of this sacred mass, this Advent, saw me celebrate with two African village pastors. I have walked life’s road with one of these for over twenty years. We both grew up in Apartheid South Africa. Our government told us we could not be friends. He was too dark and I was too light. Our government told us these two colors do not mix.
Christ told us differently. This is the Christ I celebrate in Christ – mas.
I celebrate the Christ who forged within us a deep mutual respect. When the law of our country was against us, when society scolded our friendship, when convention dictated otherwise, Christ set us together on a path. A path that would take us to hungry children, dying parents and hope. Hope in the midst of suffering. Hope right there – at the core of institutionalized racism – flickering bright through black and white hands joined together in a sacred task.