It's not so much that we've ruined Christmas as that we've let Christmas ruin Christianity. Our skewed understanding of gifts has led to a skewed understanding of spiritual gifts, and so of Christianity.
During this season of Advent we pause, or at least try to, and with an eye on Psalm 51, we cry out to the One who is preparing us for that Christ-coming-again, Christ-restoring-completely, Christ-reigning-forever event.
John the Baptist reminds us that memories are made in the preparation phase, not just on Christmas Day.
We all fail: at work, with our families, in our lives. What does it look like to embrace grace and live as people of second (and third, fourth, and seventy-seventh) chances?
What if we re-imagined education so that failing was not a disaster, but part of the process? What if we started to think that way in our own lives as well?
God's grace? I know God's grace. I know that it's sufficient and wide-reaching and freely given, not earned. I know what I'm supposed to know. But grace doesn't sink in and I live as though God's grace is enough for everybody except me.