The Herb Of Grace

Theology and Poetry, Politics and Prose

Christmas Day! December 25, 2008

Filed under: christmas — Joel @ 2:30 am

I cannot introduce the season of Christmas without introducing the way in which most of us participate, one way or another, in the nullification of that worship.  Our time should not be spent on getting the culture to put the Christ back into Christmas but on getting the Church to put the Christ back into Christians.  By participating so thoughtlessly in the consumer culture of the Christmas holiday, we void any witness we may have hoped to offer.

It is difficult to imagine by-passing the ridiculous nature of many modern day Christmas celebrations; the culture is a powerful thing and who are we to fight it?  But this is a lie.  In the birth of the small and vulnerable Jesus, we already celebrate by extension the crucified and resurrected Jesus, and this means something concrete regarding materialism and the luminosity of the Gospel.  As his imitators, we are called to simplicity just as Jesus was.  We are called to identification with those whose financial status disqualifies them from participating in the mad rush of holiday shopping, just as Jesus is.  We are called, not to family-centrism, but to open our doors to those who may be crushed by loneliness, just as Jesus did.

So it is easy to see that we, as a Christian community, cannot abide by the culture’s idolatrous version of this sacred celebration.  It is not idolatrous because ‘they’ took the Christ out of Christmas; they have no reason to care if it’s in there or not, they are not Christians.  But we are, and so, for us, it is to our own celebration that we need to attend.

What I mean is that until we find ourselves looking like Jesus at Christmas: poor, humble, and extremely open, then we have nothing to say to the culture.  But have good cheer!   I am convinced that we have been given a wonderful party with incredible joy waiting for us in the humility of the pennyless babe!

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7 Responses to “Christmas Day!”

  1. james & Norma Mason Says:

    Joel and Katie,

    Your Grandma and Grandpa say of today’s Herb of Grace, “It’s good and acceptable to our Lord.” Let it be, Lord, let it be and while Thou art calling, do not pass us by.

    The telecast prepared by you Al, is/was truly packed with joy in seeing and hearing each of you with such clarity and built with amazing skill and love. Are we dreaming or did we really get to see and talk to you — live and loving!

    Love to all of you, Sharon, Al, Laura, Christopher, Katie and Joel!!

    Grandma and Grandpa Mason

  2. Raymond Funk Says:

    Joel,
    thanks for putting these readings together Joel.
    much love and grace upon you and Katie this season,

    Ray

  3. Claire Says:

    Thank you, Joel. These daily readings have helped me stay focused on the sacred Truth of Christmas i.e. “the humility of the pennyless babe”.
    Abundant blessings to you & your loved ones,
    Claire.

  4. well written and well said.
    agreed completely.
    dave w sent me your link…glad he did.

  5. Ron Smith Says:

    What ever happening to loving Jesus and getting a CRAP load of gifts!!!!!!!!
    Jesus wants us to have gifts….. to share!!!!!!

    Like for instance, I wanted to buy a hummer and so I asked Jesus. His reply “well, if you are doing ministry with the Hummer why not!”
    Thanks Jesus.

  6. Julien Says:

    Hello Joel?? where are you?? it’s been a while since I’ve seen a new poste on your Blog??
    Keep it up,
    Julien G.


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