Merry Christmas (I think)
December 19, 2007, 7:20 am
Filed under: Christendom, Christmas, culture, family, friends, theology

Can’t say where this came from, but I’ve been walking through this whole Christmas season with a bit of an edge. People have heard me say cranky little quips, and even the occasional mini-rant. In part, it’s the consumerism of the season that a lot of people are cautious of. There are good efforts out there already to combat that mentality, and to make something better. For the most part, though, I’ve had a more theological sort of thing going.

I’m more concerned about the gross imbalance that exists between the time, money, effort, and overall attention that Christians and churches give to Christmas vs. Resurrection Sunday. Hear me now – I’m a grateful believer in celebrating the Incarnation, and the amazing story that it is. I do think it’s good and right for us to make a big deal of that.

But let me ask this question – How many Christians do you know that redecorate their whole house to celebrate the Resurrection? Not talking about Easter bunnies here, either. I’m talking about clearing the coffee table so we can set up a little ceramic scene of a big rock mountain with a cave cut out of it, and a stone that’s been rolled away from the entrance. You’ve got your ceramic angels hanging out at the tomb, ceramic Mary looking confused while talking to that strange ceramic gardener dude, ceramic Peter and ceramic John sucking air from having just finished their foot race. Everyone except for the angels, and the aforementioned gardener have that expression of “Wha??” on their faces. O.k., so I got a little out of control there . . . all that might be a little creepy.

How many Christians do you know that use even 20% of the money they’d spend at Christmas to give it away to Christian missionaries or causes?

Almost all churches make a big deal about their Good Friday/Easter Sunday services. Celebrative gatherings, sunrise services, special musical presentations. Many new church plants hold their public “launches” on Easter (a thing I’ve got a whole different set of misgivings about). I don’t want to be completely unfair here – there is special emphasis on the Resurrection. I’m just wondering if it’s equivalent to Christmas.

All of this, when in two of our four gospels, the narrative of the birth of Jesus isn’t even mentioned! Do I need to bother asking the counter-question of how many gospels have the Passion narrative?

With all that said, let me rescue myself from this scrooge-y corner I’m in. I DO LIKE CHRISTMAS. Michelle and I will be traveling great distances to be with family and friends for celebrations. I LIKE GIVING GIFTS TO PEOPLE, and think that Christmas represents a beautiful time for us to honor those that God has placed in our lives. I DO LIKE SOME CHRISTMAS MUSIC – this is good stuff (but this and this make me want to hurt people). I LIKE CHRISTMAS COOKIES. Oh, and I LIKE SEEING LITTLE CHILDREN GET GIDDY ON CHRISTMAS MORNING. I’ve got no beefs with Santa – he’s always been better to me than I’ve been to him. In the interest of full disclosure, let me also say that I LIKE RECEIVING GIFTS – especially those that show that someone really thought about me and wanted to express their love.

My main thing here is to put things in perspective. Thank you God for the Incarnation. Indeed. But thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus for inaugurating an everlasting Kingdom by your words, your deeds, your sacrifice, and your Resurrection!

With all that said, let me wish all of my readers out there (I could name the four of you, but I wouldn’t want to embarrass you) a great Christmas. I do hope this holiday season is a wonderful celebration. Just remember, when you open your Bible to Luke 2, feel free to follow it up with some time in Luke 24.



3 Comments so far
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Did I mention that I sent your parents to Manheim Steamroller for your father’s birthday? They went last week and LOVED it. Clearly it was not genetically passed on. Just thought it was funny. Loved this post too! Thanks for the reality check in the midst of this last week of Christmas choas before we move back into the regular amount of Circus chaos. Love you like a brother…literally! 🙂
Sister Teresa

Comment by Sister Teresa

Dude, if that snowman I put up in our shared yard ends up with it’s head on the ground, I’ll know what happened.

Comment by jeremy

T – you will soon find out what I bought our father for his birthday present, and you might just think it’s evil. At least then we’ll be even!

J – Ha! No worries about the snowman. Michelle told me that he gave you a good fight, so you earned your right to represent. He shall remain unharmed . . . at least by me. I’ll be looking for your Resurrection light display come March, though!

Comment by Steve

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