Monday, 25 November 2013

When did the sacred become silly season?

What does Christmas mean to us?  Some love it, in all it's festive spirit. Some feel tired thinking about it. Some feel stressed by the debt it creates. Some are exhausted by the time the day begins. Some work their longest hours leading up to it. Some see gifts as tick off a long scrawled list.

Tinsel was up early November this year, the local Mall was looking very festive. Honestly I'm a little over Christmas before December has arrived. Maybe the hectic pace of Christmas is more a problem for the southern hemisphere. December means the end of the school and university year, work functions, sports do's, group break-ups ... and then ... Christmas.

What has become of Christmas?  Is this crazy pace and pressure anything remotely to do with the celebration of a sacred birth?

I sense a desire to slow down, breath, rest and regain the sacred. There are murmurings, our Christmas theology has been drowned out by blaring, tacky Christmas songs. It's hard to hear the Christ in Christmas when worldly wants and desires scream so loud we think, self. I want Christmas back. I want the celebration of Christ's birth, the grace gift, the best gift, the only gift.

Advent, the marking off the days, the tiny doors to chocolate countdown or the story?

The story of Christmas is the story of all time. Way back when time began, the angels were warming up for the song sung to Shepherds under the stars.  This is one event that was planned down to the very last detail. As God wished it, the birth of Jesus was.  The stable, the trough, the very young Mother and the long journey.

Planned, detailed, invited guests, and gifts... sounds a little like our kind of Christmas. Yet the vital difference was, worship. The stars invited the rich Magi, the Angels sang an invitation to the lowly shepherds, all worshipped Jesus. Jesus, baby once, King now.

Have we taken the time to think about what we do at Christmas and what it means?  Stockings, Santa, presents, cake, I don't necessarily think any of these are 'wrong', I just wonder if we do them because we always have, without thinking what they have to do with the birth of all time.

Do we base Christmas on traditions or thankfulness?
Is that what we want Christmas to be?
Does our Christmas reflect our theology, or have we been tempted into the worlds view of Christmas.

Maybe it is time to wipe the design clean and start from scratch...

Christmas according to what we believe.

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