I thought of a Christmastide sermon preached by my pastor in a past year. He reminded us that if we leave the baby Jesus in the manger that we've missed the important point.
I have added to that thought as we moved through the liturgical year. If we leave the savior on the cross, we've missed the point too.
But then I take it one step further: if we focus on the empty tomb, we continue to miss the point. And if we focus on Heaven, we miss the point.
I've had more than one friend snort when I say that. "If it's not about Heaven, then what is the point of religious faith?" one friend asked in a mix of disgust and disbelief.
I would argue that it's about our life right here and now. Christmas reminds us that God breaks through into our regular lives in amazing ways.
God wants to walk beside us not so that we'll get a ticket to Heaven. God wants to walk with us so that we can be part of the redemption of creation.
Artists everywhere know that when we create together, we're likely to go in directions we wouldn't have anticipated.
God knows it too.