Beyond the Clutter of Christmas

Thomas Merton, a Catholic Monk, says, “We are numbered in billions, and massed together, marshaled, numbered, marched here and there, taxed, drilled, armed, worked to the point of insensibility, dazed by information, drugged by entertainment, surfeited with everything, nauseated with the human race and with ourselves, nauseated with life. There is no room for quiet. There is no room for solitude. There is no room for thought. There is no room for us to live.” What better season than Christmas to epitomize our cluttered existence. We are swallowed up by crowds at shopping malls. Find ourselves lost in wrapping paper. Cursing the world when stepping on pieces of toys left on steps. We live lives of clutter. We find ourselves obsessed with lack of time and lack of space and strive to save time and conquer more space.

The story of Christmas reminds us that our lives need simplicity. The Scripture reminds us that there was “no room in the inn.” We always read this as a negative. But could it be that if Jesus was born in the midst of the chaos of Bethlehem that he would have gotten lost in the crowd? He was born in a place where the message could be heard by those ready to hear. Our lives need stillness in order to hear the message of joy and grace. Take time during the busy season of Christmas and just listen. Find that quiet place in your soul and just rest in the message of God’s love.

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