Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Gettin' my Grinch on

Grinch. That name is fingernails on the chalkboard of Christmas. Or so it seems, depending how one thinks of Christmas.

"Oh no, not another boring blog about the 'true meaning of Christmas'" and all that. Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps. We'll see. I am going for an "effect" that depends on not my writing, but your reading. Knowing that my comments section remains (for the most part) unused, I am going to assume not many will be reading this either, so I know I'll not be upsetting anyone.

So here it goes! I'm going to Grinch and, if you are reading this, you can go find some other blog of worth to read--or hang around. The choice is yours.


Christmas brings out the worst in people. Of this I am thoughourly convinced. One needs not step back too far to survey the scene: stress levels are high in deck-adent halls, as the brass and silver are polished, feasts prepared and spreads arranged all for the show of family and friends. Family tensions rise as houses are overstuffed with somebody else's children and folks that one really cannot stand any other time of year. Cousins sit and stare at each other, maybe pulling on their snarfblatt and making small talk about this or that sport or some political complaint, maybe telling the same stories year after year, making promises to not let so much water go under the bridge . . .

If the yelling hasn't started in some family spat (perhaps something left over from last year, having fermented and causing indigestion all year long, now regurgitating itself onto the coffee tables of good Christian men rejoicing), they'll take it outside to the retail stores. Acts of violence break out in both on and off the show-room floors as people are relieved of their plastic money by inept register attendants who seem to go to some sort of school for irritation and apathy. Folks dip in their sickles and reap their harvests of molded shiny plastic and glass and metallic things that take too many batteries and will be returned, forgotten about or broken by April.

The goods are fake, the decorations are fake, the smiles are fake. It's all fake. I mean think about it--have you ever seen a snow-laden tree at night, much less a bush? It don't sparkle like that, folks. Of course, if it caught on fire, that would be something . . .

Yes, Christmas is the time of year to have an excuse to finally break out that recreational drink (a little "nog" here, a little "nog" there), to have a party, to get a little something or to give a little something (just a token, no real meaning in it), to leave work, get out of school, overeat . . .

It was not so much different back then. They paid too many taxes, just like today; only, they primarily faced covering military expenses for a government they didn't like either. They went to bed at night with the threat of world domination pendulating quietly over their sleeping heads--those cruel, ungodly, power-intoxicated band of political wolves prowling around outside their darkened windows. . .

Morality had deterioriated so much their art was flat, nothing was real and certainnly nothing to write home about. Immorality was in every level of society and was moving into the population. Of course they didn't have gay cowboy movies, but the Spartans were just up the road and there were plenty of gladiators were running around . . .

Nationalism was clashing with Imperialism and conformity was the spirit of the age.

Of course then, the government was handing out freebies to keep the populace satiated so they would not rise up and throw out the leaders. Now the population rises to throw the freebies back at the leaders while demanding more--discontent is epidemic! Everyone wants everything for nothing!

Interest rates spiraled then. Nothing has changed.

The Church and the State are divided, and the religious community is acting abnormal as religious observances crumble under the invisible weight of the observances of the state. Political assetts are found in the pews--religion is a social affair. Governmental reform is found in the church! The church is abnormal as sports and competitions are taking precident over services. No different as it was then.

Racial tension? At it's breaking point. They could'nt decide what flag to fly and where, either!

And in such a time, a child was born to a migrant couple who had just signed up for a fresh round of taxation. Soon they would be taking an extended vacation as exiles. . .

Yes, Christmas brings out the worst in people. It shows who they really are--and how much they need Him.

I was about to finish, then I found this:

"What is Christmas? Strip off the date, the name, Santa Clause, the cards, the presents, the tree and the food, and what have you got? NOTHING. That's precisely what Christmas is--nothing. It is absolutely nothing. It isn't historical, it isn't even biblical. It isn't Christian. It isn't anything. Worse than that, it turns out to be sort of bedlam, does'nt it? Well, you say, if Christmas is nothing, then are we wrong to recognize it? Not necessarily, if we recognize that it is nothing. Secondly, if we enjoy the time with family and friends and sharing our love and being together, it's good. But mostly I can think Christmas is important because it gives Christians the opportunity to catch the world aware of Jesus, and give them the truth." [John MacArthur, "The Alpha and the Omega" sermon]

So let's pack everything up, break out a circle of chairs and let one of three things happen: 1) we will all die of boredom; 2) we will get up and find something else to do; 3) we will talk and start to be Christians with one another and will take it outside--literally.

What do you want for Christmas?

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