SansBlogue  
Thursday, December 09, 2004
 
Seasonal reasons - Christmas and secular ceremonies ::

Jenee pointed me to a fine article from Christian Century "Holy Instincts". Barbara Brown Taylor back in 1999 offered great stuff to reflect on at this season. She notices a bunch of "county prisoners" putting up the decorations in the town square.
Only two of them are really working. The third is making faces at the ball in his hand, in which he has discovered his own reflection.
Things like this, stimulated by secular celebration of the season should cause Christians to notice
...the holy spark that smolders underneath all this gratuitous tinsel and voltage. ... While true believers lament the crass commercialization of Christmas and the loss of Jesus as the reason for the season, the Holy Spirit haunts the most secular ceremonies:
She admits:
There are all kinds of things wrong with the way we celebrate Christmas. We eat too much, we spend too much, we sentimentalize too much, we worry too much. Those excesses cannot douse the holy instincts that underlie them. We really are hungry. We really do want to give and receive. We really do want to feel deeply, live peaceably, sleep soundly and rise renewed.
And concludes:
God is in the midst of it, after all, still hunting new flesh in which to be born.
Or to put it the way Yancey does, in the book I've been reading for the last few months, at this time of year much that ordinary people do offers rumors of Another World.

Our job, if we choose to accept it, is not to beat people up and make them feel faintly guilty for not attending our church despite the "reason for the season", but somehow to find ways to help them (but first to help ourselves!) catch the whispers in the tinsel ball, even taste the Christ in the dry turkey breast, eaten with family and friends...


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