The White Shoes of Christmas

Rev. Malone Gilliam read the Christmas Story yesterday from Matthew 1:18-25. We’ve heard it so many times that it may be too familiar; when Mary was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit, Joseph was going to dismiss her, but instead an angel came and explained about Jesus’ birth to Joseph, and they both trusted the absurd story.

We’ve heard it so many times that the story of Jesus’ birth no longer strikes us as phenomenal. Similarly, we can let our lives become mundane when we enter into a hypnotic state of doing the same thing over and over again.

White Shoes of Christmas.jpg

Malone told us the story of the white loafers he was wearing that he’d “won” at a “White Elephant” party. He’d always wanted a pair, but would have never bought them for himself. He commented that the appeal of a “white elephant” party is that we can lower our self-imposed barriers where we hide our flaws, always trying to put our best foot forward. At these parties, people can laugh at themselves; it gives us a break from the mundane and normal. Malone knew that when he walked out to start the service, our eyes were riveted on his shoes because they were so absurd. They didn’t fit his normal, dapper, traditional way of dressing when he preaches.

Malone then challenged us: “Jesus’ whole life is like a “white elephant” party and these white shoes. Who would believe that God would become an ordinary human in Jesus to save us? When we read about Jesus’ life, who would believe the miracles that would occur, and the throngs of people who would be drawn to him? Who would believe that this man gave up his life on a cross for us?”

Jesus’ life was absurd and abnormal. He came not only to save us from our sins, but to save us from ourselves.

I pray that your life is changed this Christmas, by the absurd story of Jesus Christ.

Blessings, my friend,


(Excerpted from the sermon by the Rev. Malone Gilliam at St. George’s Episcopal Church, Nashville, TN on December 22, 2013.)

(Click below for MP3 file)