02 December 2005

Rant: Grinches stealing Christmas

MM has posted a call for the defense of Christmas. It seems that there are people out there--people who claim to be Christians--who are not celebrating Christmas. It seems that the main argument put up by these people is that since the Bible does not explicitly institute the feast of Christmas (nor, for that matter does it institute the feast of Easter) that therefore Christians should not engage in celebrating this holiday. If further proof were needed of Christmas' badness, these people will also claim that it is a pagan holiday that has been "converted" into a Christian one to please the crowd and that these pagan origins are still evident in such things as Christmas trees, gifts, etc.

Now, I can understand to an extent, the other reaction against the over-blown materialism that has crept up and threatens to choke out the "real meaning" of Christmas--Christ's incarnation. I say, to an extent, because frankly, I find that to be reactionary as well.

But to the first crowd, it is clear that these people are just legalists. We all know how our Lord felt about legalists because he regularly chastized the Pharisees for following the letter of the law and not its spirit, esp. in regards to the keeping of the Sabbath. But on the other hand, they are merely exercising their private judgment on a Church-instituted day of celebration. They are repudiating on the one hand sacred tradition, and on the other hand they are deeply impoverishing and limiting the expression of their faith by not celebrating it, and with gusto. We all know Our Lord loves a good feast. For starters, His first miracle was to supply booze for a party and there is a tendency in Christ's teachings to describe his coming Kingdom not as a Quaker meeting but as a wedding feast to which we are all invited and to which we must show with a good will and ready to celebrate. These people in what seems to me self-righteous pride have missed the very heart of the Christian mystery--that our union with God through the incarnation (Christmas) and death and resurrection (Easter) of his Son is something to be celebrated with pomp and joy.

To the anti-materialists, I would say that the above might mean spending some money. I for one plan on spending Christmas both giving and receiving and eating and celebrating and singing and drinking and decorating and all of those things because until Christ's coming again these are concrete reminders of what being a Christian is all about and they can't be gotten by just reading the Bible.

1 comment:

MM said...

Hip hip hurrah T!