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Merry Christmas is Everywhere!

November 19th, 2007
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Whathappened
My colleague, Rev. Robert Baker, has produced a magnificent book for children and their families to help them sort through the thorny issue that is ever increasing: a purposeful choice to ignore Christmas in our society. It is titled, What Happened to Merry Christmas. Please check out his blog site, and … consider purchasing the book for your parish, children, grandchildren. It is a very interesting site with all kinds of news and information on issues related to Christmas. With a keen focus on the Gospel, the book is an encouraging word to help children recognize that in spite of our culture’s increasing attempt to take Christ out of Christmas, the signs and symbols of Christmas remain all around. Here is a screen shot of Pastor Baker’s blog.

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Categories: Books
  1. Robert C. Baker
    November 19th, 2007 at 12:39 | #1

    Thanks, Paul!

  2. Michael L. Anderson
    November 21st, 2007 at 07:42 | #2

    I cannot speak for everywhere, but my observation is that the tinsel of Christmas is on display in Detroit, beginning sometime in mid-October. Right next to the jack-o’lanterns, in aisle five.
    My feelings about this are mixed. In a sense, the world in its typically hobbled fashion is compelled celebrate the first earthly arrival of its incarnate King, because if it did not do so, the very stones would. This warms my heart; it is cheering evidence for the eyes, that the Still Small Voice quietly … as always … is in control of things, even of human DNA and its frenetic and wacky behavioral drives. Nevertheless, you know and I know that the urge to hang that tinsel is driven more by an homage to Mammon in a wallet, than to a Babe in a manger.
    Christmas is everywhere, my dear clerics. Turn on the radio. Look at the advertising section of your newspapers. It is debased in form, to be sure. But it’s there. The challenge for the Christian thinker is not the paucity of Christmas symbols in the community; they are there like the fish symbols in ancient Rome, symbols which will surely cause the blessed thinker to meditate on the Gift of the Ages. The challenge is the commercial interruption of the liturgical year, the natural flow of the seasons as seen through the eyes of faith. The time of preparation for the Advent, and the longing and humbled repentance of Anna and Simeon, are increasingly amputated and shunted aside by the world in a hurry. Lutheran churches, under social and cultural pressure, put up their festival finery quite before the high feast day of our Lord’s Nativity actually arrives. The twelve days of Christmas, with all their rich abundance of festival days to engage and invigorate both body and soul, are largely ignored. Christians could celebrate continuously and uproariously while the neighborhood is taking down the electric lights; rapturously claiming and proclaiming, for days on end, the message of true peace, the arrival of the Kingdom of Heaven and the grand hope of the grand world to come. But seduced by the world, and its busy-ness to move on to the January White Sales post-haste, the Christians allow their celebratory thrust to be overwhelmed by the commercial mandates, and the Kwanzaa upstarts, around them.
    There is no need for “pro-Christmas” baubles. See, there are Christmas roods … green trees of life, if one thought hard about it … in some vacant lots as early as Columbus’ Day. There is a larger need for celebrating our Lord’s days: His birthday and circumcision day, and the days of His saints the Holy Innocents and Stephen and John, and all the rest. The world has successfully transmuted Christmas forward, in part because its unconscious mind greatly fears the Last Days relentlessly acknowledged by the Church cycle. Christians need to push Christmas forward. We need to continue Christmas into January, boldly and creatively and let the world follow the Church’s lead, as it may. We need to think outside the box; Christians need to reclaim Christmas … all of it … for themselves, as well as for the world’s notice.
    The world has left a convenient vacuum, after its commercial Santa has finally departed with his booze-clouded eyes; the Church has the means, at its ready disposal, to fill it and proclaim Christ without the distraction of red-nosed reindeer.

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