December 9, 2010 | 04:19 pm

Thursday – It’s OK to Ask

Christmas is the one time of year that it is OK to ask for things. Not only is it expected, it is considered helpful so people know what presents to buy us. It is also a time when it is permissible, even expected, to ask questions about faith. We can ask clarifying questions, such as who were the Wise Men? How does the birth of a child signify the reign of God? Or we can go a step further and ask whether all of this hoopla over Christmas really has any meaning—and I don’t mean to sound irreverent here. I’m thinking of John the Baptist, who was related to Mary the mother of Jesus. John baptized Jesus and proclaimed him the Messiah. But then John finds himself in prison and starts having doubts. So he sends a message to Jesus and asks, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” (Matthew 11:3) After all he’s seen and said, he finds himself wondering whether he should be following Jesus. This is not to imply that we should approach Christmas with doubt. It means that we can approach Christmas honestly and with all of who we are as we consider the meaning of our faith.