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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Merry Christmas

It's been a little bit too long since we put anything on here, so I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to anyone and everyone. And I want to say something else . . .

I've been hearing a lot of talk about the excess of Christmas. People spend, spend, spend, and celebrate, celebrate, celebrate, all at the expense (so I'm told) of the true meaning of Christmas. But I gotta confess . . . I disagree. Whether anyone at Target will admit it as they're snowblowing a path through the mounds of cash blocking the way to their Happy Holidays vault, this season is all about Christ. His birth was awesome. To celebrate, people spend. They decorate. They give ridiculously expensive gifts in front of lavishly adorned fake and/or dead trees. They wear silly clothes. And I got news for you . . . that ain't an American custom. That's Old Testament, baby.

Crazy outfits, endless parades of valuable gifts, strange rituals you just can't explain the meaning behind . . . sounds like a Tabernacle dedication to me. That weird stuff is just how people celebrate God. Granted, your heart is supposed to be in the right place, but you know what? The holiday isn't about my heart. It's about Jesus. You let me worry about the condition of my heart, and keep going overboard with the celebrating of Christmas. Don't wait for me to be holy before you start making a big deal out of the birth of Christ.

Someone, somewhere is asking how any of it relates to the story of Christ's birth, and to you I say this: He's the only reason we're doing it. What does cake have to do with me being born? What does a tail being pinned to a donkey's hindquarters have to do with me being born? (Don't answer that.) What does candle blowing, invite sending, gift opening, wish making, butt spanking, happy-birthday-song-copyright infringing, card writing, face stuffing, and pole dancing (don't ask) have to do with anyone anywhere being born? It's fun, that's what. When something cool happens, having fun is a great way to celebrate. However you decide to show it, that's the perfect way for you.

People who are out of touch with Jesus celebrate His birth by celebrating in an out-of-touch way, and it's wonderful. Atheists celebrate by being extra obstinate when people say Christmas . . . it's their way of saying, "We have to bring something to the party." Thank you, Atheists. Pious people celebrate by being extra sanctimonious. It's fantastic . . . everyone's true colors come out during Christmas. The ultimate display of who you choose to be comes shining through at Christmas. It's kind of like the rocks and trees of your personality crying out to praise Him. None of this would be possible without Jesus. Without Him, nothing that was made would be made. When it comes to celebrating Jesus, there can be no excess. Everything's mere existence bears testimony to His redemptive power.

So don't tell anyone they're celebrating Christmas wrong. Just let people pour their ridiculously priced perfume on His feet and wipe it off with their hair. Yeah, it's weird, but He's worth it.
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27 comments:

  1. Touché my friend. This said it all...

    Steph

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  2. Enough said! I celebrate every year with a bang and love your point of view. Came on over through Steph and enjoyed the visit. Merry Christmas...rock on!!

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  3. Well said. I can see both the less materialism and what you are saying... came over from Stephanie's blog. Thanks for the great thoughts and ideas!

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  4. this was fantastic! just stumbled across your blog from steph.. you said what i have been feeling. thanks for your very wise words. celebrate away!!

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  5. Oh my GRAVY!!! This is the best post I have read in a LONG, LONG time!!! I am linking to you right now! Then I am email forwarding your post to my family & friends! And I never forward things!
    Thanks for writing this!!

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  6. Very well put! I couldn't agree more.

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  7. that is a great way to see it!! i love your outlook!

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  8. Here from Steph - and I so totally agree with you. I think that Christmas SHOULD be ostentatious and over the top and as lavish as we can make it, this huge excess of joy and spectactle to show our delight at the birth of our Lord.

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  9. I happened upon your blog from Steph's site, and have to say that was a wonderfully worded post! I especially appreciated the last statement. Thanks again for a very thoughtful post.

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  10. gretchen from lifenut.comSun Dec 09, 02:30:00 PM CST

    Here via Steph as well. You put into words what I've long believed, but never was quite able to express as well.

    I love large Christmases with as much hoopla, glitter, chocolate, gifts, singing, celebrating, laughing as possible.

    It honors my great God. Isn't he the God of joy and abundance? Happy Birthday, Jesus. So glad you came.

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  11. Came by way of Stephanie, too. Thanks for the perspective!

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  12. wow so true.
    Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Well said, my friend, well said! I came on over from Steph's blog. Merry Christmas!

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  14. Came here from Steph's blog.

    What an awesome way to put it - never thought of it that way! Thanks!

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  15. I read your blog and I found it interesting but as a Christian with some theological training and who seeks the Holy Spirit and scripture as well as historical facts surrounding them I have to respectfully disagree if for no other reason than to ask people not to lead others away from the facts of God's word. The ways in which we celebrate Christmas are not at all old testament or new. Here is a link to a article that may give you a lot of useful information. http://home.sprynet.com/~pabco/ptofxmas.htm
    I am not trying to be rude or judgmental I just want to share truth with anyone who is truly willing to hear it. God bless.

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  16. Shawn, I don't know you, so I won't argue too much. But, dude, the gospel of Luke would argue that the birth of Christ was worthy of celebration. Maybe it didn't institute the annual celebration of the event, or the use of evergreen trees . . . but my point was, in the OT, they celebrated things with excess . . . and really weird ceremonies, in my opinion. Oh, and Israel was commanded not to worship using pagan rituals, but that was to show they were different from the other nations. That's why they were given such specific rules for worship and celebration. But the church doesn't have such detailed practices spelled out for us. We have the sacraments, but they're nowhere near as detailed as the Pentateuch.

    Ah, I lied, I am overarguing. I'll just say that the law isn't our distinguishing feature anymore, it's love.

    Steph, a lot of people read your blog! I can't even get my family to read this stuff. This is hilarious!

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  17. I was about to take back linking to you at all- afraid of what I've started, but I still absolutely love your post and your comment above. We'll have to get the fam together and hang out soon, 'kay?

    Steph

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  18. Thanks for your reply. Hey, I don't think of your response as arguing. I think that intelligent conversation about Biblical things is an exciting and necessary practice. I don't always agree with other peoples beliefs but I am secure enough in mine to not get offended, and there is the fact that I know I am not always correct. I enjoy healthy debate over things of Christ. I still find myself at odds with exactly how to celebrate Christmas because it is not so cut and dry as I wish it was. I do feel that what the word says about not following after pagan rituals applies for always because the Bible tells us not to ask "How do you worship your god so I can use the same type of worship for mine?", God says that this is a disgrace to Him and will not be accepted. We are also told in the word to be a people set apart from others in our committed life to Him because we are still a separate nation by adoption in Christ. If you want to discuss things like this I enjoy it. If my responses just annoy you just tell me to leave you alone. Have a blessed day.
    Shawn

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  19. Great post. I think you're right, but with one caveat: celebrate without debt. "Simplify" sometimes just means "do what you can afford." Joy and parties and decorations and presents are a wonderful way to celebrate Jesus' birth. 25% interest is not.

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  20. This is comment 22. At most, I ever get 3 comments. So I want to celebrate Christmas by being jealous of how many comments you get. :)

    Good blog.

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  21. I came here from Toddled Dredge, and I'm glad I did. Thanks for a different point of view. You make some very valid points!

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  22. Great post. Here from Toddled Dredge (Veronica.) I'll be back.

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  23. this was fantastic! just stumbled across your blog from steph.. you said what i have been feeling. thanks for your very wise words. celebrate away!!

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