Sunday, 24 December 2006

Flogging a Dead Horse (or reindeer as the case may be)

This is not really another rant on how Christmas has become so secular. It is the way it is and what will be will be, I suppose. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about it. There are always some Christians who get up in arms about the secularization of Christmas and, for example, the removal of a Christmas tree from a courthouse so non-Christians will not be offended. Mine is more a feeling of sadness for a world that desperately needs the good news of Jesus Christ but just doesn’t seem to get it. But here are a couple of the latest examples I’ve seen.

I just watched the beginning of Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC). Gordon Pinsent is a celebrity of sorts here in Canada (although I suppose I should say he is a ‘personality’. We in Canada are either not big enough or American enough or think enough of ourselves to have celebrities; we have personalities instead). Mr Pinsent did a HNIC related poem based on “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Frankly, I don’t know whether he used the term, “Christmas” in his poem, because I didn’t pay much attention until I heard him recite at the end…

“I heard him say, as he rode out of sight, Happy Holidays to all…etc, etc.” I can only shake my head and smile resignedly at this attempt at political correctness, even at the expense of the rhythm and metre of the poem.

The other night I saw the movie “Santa Clause II” on TV. It was an entertaining enough film, a bit silly, but not really offensive at all. The interesting thing was that, near the end of the movie, a TV reporter reported how a crowd of people were singing Christmas carols, coming together in the true spirit of Christmas. The “carol” they were singing? “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. Another head-shaker.

Years ago there used to be a Dial soap commercial that I sometimes paraphrase: “Aren’t you glad you know the Lord? Don’t you wish everybody did?”
But they just don’t get it, do they?

This is the season when we celebrate that portion of John 3:19, “…Light has come into the world…”
But how does the world react? “…but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

I believe that we as Christians do need to be salt and light in the world and in our communities, being prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks us the reason for the hope that we have. Some will have ears to hear, some won’t. But in the end how should we take it?

“Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy." (Rev 22:11)

Have a blessed Christmas as we celebrate our Saviour’s birth.

Take Care


stauf46 said...

Good thoughts.

You have the right take on the sometimes laughable secular perspective on Christmas. There is no need for us to get our knickers in a knot about it. People without faith are just speaking their native language.

Merry Christmas to you and yours, John! Our time is going great here (even if the guys are supposed to be doing dishes tonight).


Russell Smith said...

Thanks for your visit to the Eagle and child -- and Merry Christmas to you. As I visited here, I found the Ask the Next question posts to be particularly helpful -- particularly in this era of aggressive atheism. Keep up the great blogging.