Friday, December 16, 2011

Random Thoughts Inspired by the Christmas Season

So. Christmas is just a smidgen over a week away. Blogging is in a major lull. Think I’ll share a fairly stream-of-consciousness snapshot of some things I’ve been thinking about which could probably develop into blog posts, but most likely won’t this week. 
I don’t get too bent out of shape about people saying, “Happy Holidays.” What I mean is, sure, I’d rather we drop the political correctness, but it isn’t WRONG to say it, either.
I do think it’s sort of silly to call red and green tree-shaped cookies “Holiday Cookies” when everyone knows they are Christmas cookies. I mean, that’s the red and green tree holiday, right? It doesn’t really bother me, but I do find it silly.
Being outraged and insisting that “Happy Holidays” is some giant conspiracy and trying to completely eradicate it through Facebook ultimatums is silly, too. Sometimes we get upset about the wrong things.
I get really irritated by e-mails and Facebook status updates that say that if I don’t repost about how bad “Happy Holidays” is or if I don’t repost about what a faithful believer in Jesus I am then I must not be a real Christian or I must be ashamed of Jesus. Um. I think what I blog about and update about should reflect my faith in Christ all the time. If it takes a snotty e-mail forward or Facebook update to prove that my faith is genuine, then something is wrong. Just because I think those forwards are obnoxious and refuse to repost them or buy in to somebody’s misguided test of genuine faith does not mean I am ashamed of the gospel. And saying, "Merry Christmas," obnoxiously to make a point kind of defeats the real point, don't you think? Actually, the way we blog, Facebook, talk, and act on a daily basis has a lot more impact as a witness than a prideful-sounding forward that sounds like we have our noses all out of joint.
I think sometimes we Christians can be a bit obnoxious. See above.
I wonder how many people who post the snotty “I’m not ashamed, and I challenge everyone else to repost this” kind of updates and snotty anti-happy holidays stuff are complaining about how early the church service is on Sunday, Dec. 25 this year? Good article on that here. Peter Beck articulates the point quite well. Really, well said, and I quite agree with his article.
I am guilty of being an obnoxious Christian sometimes, too. I made a little pronouncement on my opinions vis a vis Santa the other day, and I realized I sounded pretty snotty. I didn’t mean to. I’m glad to share my thoughts, one was actually asking for them that day. I need to just go about the business of celebrating Christmas joyfully and enjoy the time watching my children’s joy and keep quiet when it isn’t necessary to speak.
I have decided that though most of the country celebrates Christmas, there are actually two different Christmases going on. There’s the purely secular one, and there’s the one where people who have come to know the Savior spend every year thinking more and more about the wonder of God With Us. It’s silly to expect people who don’t know Him to appreciate the fullness of what we are actually celebrating. So snarky, snotty, arrogant e-mails and Facebook posts only serve to make us look angry and prideful. And I don’t want that to be what people think about Christians, always getting bent out of shape over things that are symptoms and not the root cause, always trying to get pagans to act like Christians rather than spilling over with the joy and wonder and love of the Gospel in such a way that pagans might see the light.
Sometimes we try to overspiritualize things too. Like the Christmas tree. We don’t have to Christianize it and give it a bunch of symbolism we’ve devised so we can feel we are celebrating the reason for the season and not bowing to the pagan roots. We can celebrate the real meaning of Christmas without having to give everything a deeper meaning. It’s okay to enjoy things that aren’t overtly Christian. Sometimes a Christmas tree is just a pretty decoration.  And that’s okay, too.
I do find that every Christmas I am more aware of just how awesome the gospel really is. I do know that, for me and my house, the fact that the promise that God made in Genesis 3:15 and furthered and prophesied through the ages was fulfilled in Jesus and that while we were still sinners Christ died for us is where I want our focus to be during the Christmas season and throughout the whole year. Maybe instead of making pronouncements, I can just worship and celebrate and not get too bent out of shape about what other people are doing, and in so doing, bear more of the fragrance of Christ and His mercy rather than adding to the obnoxiousness. The gospel impacts every area of life, and I love that at Christmas I am brought to my knees once again as I ponder the immense wonder of it all. Immanuel, God With Us.
What do you know, I did have a blog post in there after all.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6


Steve Finnell said...

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Kay said...

I love what you say about FB forward sort of things...I dare you to post this for one hour stuff...I HATE that stuff, no matter what the content! And I never repost. The posts I put up on my own say more about me than anything anybody can dare me to put up. Amen sister! : )