It is not uncommon to hear folks wish us “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” during the month of December. This is understandable given the variety of “Holidays” observed by people this time of year. And so, “Happy Holidays” has its place as a generic greeting of good will.
That said, Jesus the Messiah King is the reason for the “Christmas Holiday.” Moreover, all of us who know and love Jesus are called to share His joyful news. Jesus is the same Person proclaimed by John the Baptist–the “vox clamantis in deserto”–at the start of The Gospel According to Mark (See Mark 1:1-8; Isaiah 40:3-5; & John 1:6-9). Jesus is the Word spoken of the in the prologue to The Gospel According to John (See John 1:1-18), the same Word Who deigned to become human spoken of in The Gospel According to Luke (See Luke 1-2). He is the same “Messiah” adopted into the Davidic line by Joseph spoken of in the first chapter of The Gospel According to Matthew (See Matthew 1:1,18-25). Make no mistake about it. Jesus is “the reason for the season.” He is the one Whom we are called to proclaim.
And yet, one might wonder: “How might ‘I’ best do this?” Signs & symbols proclaimed in a communitarian way are helpful. While I was back my hometown visiting family and friends this past week, I took time to visit about twenty different nativity scenes placed in front of family homes. These residents had banded together through a group of local Catholic parishes to form a “pilgrimage of shrines” which amount to visual proclamations of “The reason for the Season.” Attached to each “shrine” is a weatherproof narrative of the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Perhaps this type of practice can catch on elsewhere in “Christmas Seasons” yet to come. Here are a few photos of some of these little nativity “shrines” in honor of the King of kings and Lord of lords.