I’m going to repost some of my favourite Christmas blog posts from the past. Many are from my series last year on Redeeming Christmas. You should probably read my Christmas manifesto to get the gist of what I was thinking when I wrote these.
For today, I’m tweaking the first post of that series:
Phrases like “bah-humbug” and “it’s too early for Christmas music” are not spoken or even thought of in my house. I love Christmas with every fiber of my being. Here is my Christmas philosophy:
I have a two-fold love of Christmas. I love that the name of Jesus is in every store , every mall, every public venue. I love that you can talk about Jesus, give and bless in Jesus’ name and even the most hard-nosed get caught up in the love and splendor of it all. I am simplifying this year but I LOVE the lights, I love the joy , I love the colours and the displays. It lights up the dark nights of winter and warms the homes of streets everywhere. This is what I love about Christmas. I think we can redeem Christmas if we admit that there is an element of commercialism and refrain from getting too caught up in it and if we intentionally light up our homes and offer them as a living sacrifice to our neighbourhoods and friends. If we become the light, the light will burn brighter the rest of the year. This is my prayer, my hope and my vision. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!
But if I’m going to be honest~December 25 has nothing to do with Jesus for 99% of us 100% of the time. Truthfully, as much as we may want to *say* that it’s all about Jesus and giving and His birth and Him and Holiness and yadda-yadda-yadda…….blah, blah, blah…..oh bother…..we’re just as caught up in wrapping and getting and Santa and reindeer as the folks across the street. In fact, the folks across the street might not think there’s any difference between me and them. And they’re probably right ~when it comes to Christmas. We shop. We spend. We make lists. We want. We get. We want more. We spend more to get more to give more to want more. We’re on this hamster wheel and it’s going faster and faster and we’re not even sure there’s a safe way to get off even if we wanted to.
We are caught with our flannel underwear down like Santa taking a potty break under the evergreen tree. We are busted.
So, what are WE going to do about it?
If you’re like me and you love shortbread cookies and white twinkly lights and hot cocoa in festive mugs then you’re wondering how we can possibly keep the STUFF of Christmas without the STUFF keeping us from sharing Jesus and being the LIGHT in our very dark world. Because right now, the STUFF of Christmas is weighing us down BIG TIME. We have spent our way into the oblivious world of consumption and it isn’t bringing us closer to Jesus at Christmas, or any other season of the year. So let’s get off the wheel. Let’s take a break. Let’s re-focus before the season hits and find out what we can do differently this year.
I’m going to admit right here that I’m aggressively opposed to Santa. But don’t worry, your secret is safe with me~I won’t tell the kiddos…….yet. However, I hope that you might give me some grace to share my thoughts and maybe you could chime in from time to time and pull me back over a little too.
First up: confession time for all of us. Christmas Day, December 25 is NOT Jesus’ birthday. So pretending it is, may perhaps be the first place to start in deconstructing the myth of Christmas and how to redeem it for God’s glory, not our own. Perhaps you are a family that regularly has a birthday cake for Jesus; maybe even with party hats and candles. We never have done that. I wasn’t raised that way and I guess inevitably we pass on traditions , or withhold them based on how we grew up. I’m not so sure that having a *Happy Birthday Jesus* party is doing much to promote who Jesus IS and what HE came FOR. But, I suppose it’s not harmful either. Or is it?
My guess is(based on all the smarty-pants historians) today would be closer to Jesus’ real date of birth than December 25 is. In the last couple hundred years, December 25 has morphed from a pagan celebration into a Catholic tradition into what we have now: the most ridiculous mis-mash of displays, traditions, symbols and consumption. There’s nothing inherently *CHRIST* like about what we have now.
So for today, let’s just get back to TRUTH.
The TRUTH is that Jesus was born. Born of a virgin. Immaculate conception. Born in a manger to poor parents.
The TRUTH is that December 25 is NOT Jesus’ birthday.
The TRUTH is that we regularly fool ourselves into saying that Christmas is *all about Jesus* so that we can justify how we act, what we do and what we spend.
The TRUTH hurts. And in fooling ourselves, we have , I believe hurt Jesus. Because we aren’t proclaiming Him when we decorate trees and string up lights.
But here’s the REDEMPTION~~ WE CAN CHANGE. We can BE TRUTH, SHARE TRUTH and LIVE TRUTH at the same time as stringing up the lights and drinking hot cocoa around our beautiful trees.
So, fear not. Stay tuned. The Christmas season is drawing near(41 days!). And we can; WE WILL REDEEM CHRISTMAS for the glory of God, not the glory of ourselves.