Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Reason for the Season

so this is Christmas... i love it! i'm all about the incarnation. i get rather patristic here and prefer Christmas over Good Friday in my theology. In the Eastern Orthodox churches, it is the incarnation where everything changes, not Good Friday. many of us would do well to hold these two in balance as it centers more on the LIFE of Christ rather than the death. As SVS stated so eloquently "the death is meaningless unless the life was one worth noting." or something similar to that.. i'm sure he'll correct me ;-)

Anywho, i was just reflecting on the many claims of Christians that some how "happy holidays" is an attack on Christmas. It even inspired "Advent Conspiracy" which is all about less consuming and more worshiping, after all "Jesus is the reason for the season."

i would contest that.

Jesus isn't the reason for the season, MARKETING Jesus is the reason for the season. Biblically, the time when shepards watch over their flocks by night would be when there are little lambs running around, which would be in the spring. so technically, Easter and Christmas would be a few weeks apart. but this idea also ignores another reason for the season... blending in and subverting.

Pagans had their own holidays going on during this time, and Christians wanted to blend it so to avoid persecution and yet they made it their own... taking the symbols of the season, like the Yule Log, Evergreen Tree, and feasting and making them their own. instilling them with new meaning.

i like this idea. i like that the reason for the season has multiple layers for the church. for me it shows that the church is not an enclave of refugees from the world; it is the sacrament of God's presence in the world by the Mystery of the incarnation. It's not supposed to look as little like the world as possible but as much like the world as it can manage. Otherwise, the world will never be able to recognize anything that the church is doing. it is both fully secular and fully sacred and therefore we are unable to make any distinction between the two.

how cool is that?!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May it be filled with blessing, good conversation, and warm connections within your family and community.

oh.. and i really LOVE Advent Conspiracy, check out all the cool things it's doing:


Anonymous said...

You have the quote correct!

I love this season more than Easter also...just because of the spirit of it and it is celebrated by the majority of society...this seasons seems to change people - and even the programming on TV reflects this attitude of Christmas.

I had the chance to go shopping for presents just recently and it really put me back in the spirit of the, family, and love. I really liked the giving aspect - way more than I am looking forward to the getting part. And that is really at the heart of this season.

The reason for the season is not marketing - but giving.

Tit for Tat said...

Merry Christmas to you and Kate and the little one. :)

John and Denise

The Anglican Family said...

Luke you know how to suck all the magic out of the season ;). Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! And to you as well societyvs and T4T.

Sabio Lantz said...

I continue to love your inclusiveness.

Hey Luke, questions:

(1) Where does the name of your blog come from. I can't imagine it comes from the meaning I found here.

(2) I just recently watched two short YouTube videos by Walter Brueggemann. I think I remember you writing of him. Seems an interesting sort of Christian. Do you recommend any books or videos or on-line stuff of his? I am always trying to see how you folks stay in the tradition and wrap this in their heads, AND do it well (which I truly believe is possible)

Happy New Year !

Luke said...

SVS: but could you give outside of the marketing? plus, why aren't we giving in the spring and not on the winter solistice if the season isn't about marketing? ;-)

John and Denise: Hope y'all had a merry one!

AF: nah, i just want to refocus our attention to the greater magic out there!

Sabio: the nickname comes from a Guestures gaff where i paniced and tried to get ppl to say "toothpaste" but my group answered "toothFACE!" and the name kinda stuck. not cause i have big teeth or that i'm trying to act too cool.. i know i'm a dork ;-)

Walter B. is AWESOME and in my denomination. he's a rawkstar and i really enjoy his work. i really enjoy this particular talk comparing Exodus and Romans . he's a cool dude. anything you pick up by him is gonna rawk! thanks for the kind words, hope your day was warm and full!