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Signs of a Delusional Mind

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a foundation, pt 3

Please note, this is the third post of a four-part series.

Some of you may, in continuing with me on this journey, get the impression that I am rebelling - that I am completely disapproving and disheartened by my childhood Christmases. But this is nowhere near the truth. In fact, I have the fondest memories of Christmas as a boy - a fondness that resurfaces every single year of my adult life, very much including this year. I still to this day look forward to winter, to December for what it brings - all that it entails. Nay, I have in no way intended to impress upon you, the reader, that my parents raised me and my two siblings with poor or lacking theology; it is my belief that it is because of their good theology that I have come to hold the perspectives stated in these blogs (and all other blogs). It is in fact because they never neglected to keep Jesus as the central - the vital - event of Christmas that I am able to think the way I do. Indeed, I believe I have only reached these particular conclusions because my parents taught us well. That being said, growing into an adult, that innocent child posing with his family next to the decorated tree has also grown into a sort of discomfort with the general appearance of Christmas - especially in our highly tolerant (and therefore highly absorbing and distorting), highly consumerist Western society - and the growing secularism in the mind-set of not only our culture, but also the growing secularism in the mind-set of Christianity.

Unquestionably, the Christian tradition has been, in many ways, bent out of its pure shape over the course if its 2 000 years of life - a fact which is terribly unfortunate. Indeed, in my observations of the panic of gifts and the panic of food that come along with December, I have found that we have become more readily susceptible to forget why it is exactly we are celebrating. The customs we uphold of this particular season, I fear, have the danger of devaluing and cheapening the heart of Christmas to a side note, or a sort of bonus - especially in this postmodern world. Yet, while the Christmas rituals we participate in often overshadow all else and become the center of attention, they are merely a small part of the celebrations and are not the reason for it.

What I am proposing is what I hope to be rather obvious - what I hope to be the furthering actualisation of a good Christmas theology, the next steps of what we all, as Christians, have been brought up to believe. What I am proposing is not a condemnation of trees and bows and carefully wrapped gifts, nor a reprimanding of the gathering of families and friends around the feast of various dishes prepared by loving hands. By no means do I have in mind to insult or offend, but while family and friends, and the drawing near in the spirit of peace and joy are important, I am proposing that these things do not in any sense of the word - in any stretch of the imagination - give Christmas its meaning. What I am proposing is that Christmas is in fact Christmas without all these frills, trappings and additives - and it is now perhaps become necessary for us to unwrap this holy day in order to re-discover the true event. The true meaning and substance of Christmas, I fear, is slowly being packaged up and in this way lessened and diluted - pushed aside from its very own designated holiday in place of something more consumer friendly, more tolerant, and therefore more universal. As a result, Christians have lost their hold on Christmas and it is due time to rescue the day we celebrate Jesus' birth before it becomes completely disfigured. ✤

See the other parts of this series here:
A Foundation, Part 1
A Foundation, Part 2
A Foundation, Part 4

[posted by ericjordan at 1247 hrs]
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