EL PASO, Texas

Once again we arrive to the most joyful season of the year. Christmas is a unique opportunity to share smiles, love, good will and fellowship. Decorations, Christmas cards, gifts, meals with the family, everything contributes to emphasize the happiness of the season.

But is this enough for a Christmas celebration?

If you think that I am going in the direction to say that “Jesus is the reason for the season,” you’re wrong.  That’s a superficial way to look at Christmas time because Jesus is not the reason for a particular season but for the whole life that includes all seasons and every day, hour and minute of our lives.

Then, why do we celebrate Christmas? The answer to this question is mainly existential but includes theological and biblical backgrounds.

The early church was in need of a beginning, a point to start everything, a number from where you start counting into the future. The birth of Jesus was the beginning they needed. The discussion around the historic certainty about the date and place of Jesus’ birth is secondary because the real need was the starting point. To set a date for Jesus’ birth was a need of a new beginning; it was like a fresh start.

But what is the meaning of this beginning? Psalm 90: 12 express the need to count the days of our life and so gain wisdom of heart. Therefore the reason we count our days is to gain wisdom, to be wiser. Maybe the real question we need to ask every Christmas is: How wise are we this Christmas?

Wisdom in the Bible is a mix of God’s will with human knowledge and the magic touch of the Holy Spirit. Therefore Christmas is the opportunity to discern God’s will for our lives, the life of our church, communities, country and world. It is the moment when we stop our daily work to reconsider what we have done, to find a way to do it better and get better results.

How much discernment do we practice during Christmas? Christmas is the time to look inside our hearts, minds and souls to find the will of God for each of us

Also Christmas is an opportunity to test our knowledge, our capacity to change our minds and accept that we need to continue learning because we have not reached all of our possibilities and capacities. Christmas is the time when we have the opportunity to know better the people we live with. It is a time to discover new challenges in our communities. It is the moment to put in practice new initiatives and projects. Christmas is the moment to test our knowledge with new challenges and changes.

Finally, Christmas is the season of the Holy Spirit. It is the time when we have to find where is hidden the touch of the Spirit in the lives of those around us and in our own lives. Christmas is the opportunity to find the God “incognitos” (hidden God) in each of those that surround us.

God used a normal, common and very visible woman’s tummy to hide. That’s the magic touch of the Holy Spirit! Are we ready to discover that magic touch in what is around us?

The challenge of each Christmas is to discover where God is hidden. Let’s do it! Let’s find the God incognitos this Christmas!

The Rev. Jose Luis Casal is general missioner for Tres Rios Presbytery.