Monday, December 12, 2011

What Would a "Real Biblical" Christmas Look Like?

This is what I'm thinking about today.

What would it really look like?

This is the season, you know, much like Easter, where we Christians pull out our attitudes and platitudes.  We're really great at putting on the charity and grace.  We pull out all the right lingo and phrases, you know, "reason for the season" and all.

But I've been thinking.  And wondering.

It began with the fat man in red.  You know, Santa.

There is an endless debate of can you be a Christian and still have Santa or if you're a "real" Christian then your kids know the "truth" of Santa right up front or maybe you're a super Christian and you don't even have Santa as part of your traditions.

I got to thinking about this over the last few days.  Santa. Lying.  Christmas.

Christmas, American Christmas in the suburbs is about a lot of things.  We have the Christian layer with it's hymns and advents and charity.  We have our Bible stories and church services.

There is the layer of Christmas that is gifting and parties and holiday cards.  There are movies and TV specials and secular songs and stories.

There is the layer of fantasy and magic.  Flying reindeer, a single man who knows if every child is naughty or nice-aren't all kids both?  Snowmen come to life.  Elves.  Heat Meiser.  Jack Frost.

There is the layer of music.  We have the holy music.  The hymns.  They feel holy.  We have the "classic" Christmas songs.  We have the new favorites.  A huge chunk of them are a little raunchy though, a bit of a party endorsement.  A cue to indulge.

So on to indulgence.  Gifts galore.  Over the top.  Out of the budget.  Food.  Feasting really.  And the choices?  All the rich, sweet, decadent foods.  The delights, the rare, the special.  Drinks.

So what does our Bible say about it all?

I haven't read anything about lawn decor or theme trees in my Bible.  I didn't find a favorite cookie list or best gifts for the season list.  I didn't see anything about elves or snowmen or Santa.

I'm not being a giant cosmic kill joy, even though I loath holidays.

I'm just wondering.

I'm wondering what it would be like.

A real Christian Biblical Christmas.

I don't believe that God wants us to not have Christmas, to not have joy and fellowship with our friends and families.  I don't believe that God wants us to not feast together or give gifts or sing songs.

But I wonder.

I really wonder.

If you could somehow drop Bible life into present modern day American Christmas, what would it look like?

Would we still have light up deer in our snow banks in our front yards?  Would we still sing of chestnuts and silent nights and Santa Baby?  Stockings?  Candy canes?  Spiked egg nog and tickets to the Christmas church services that blast your ear drums and give you seizures with their strobe light?

Would we still just be giving our change in the bucket at the sound of the bell and saying how now we know, "those aren't just empty words on a page"?

What would it really look like?

What do you think?  What would a real Biblical Christian Christmas look like?

Would there, could there even be such a thing?


Angie said...

lol. Your blog leaves a lot to ponder. I love that you posted a question. To answer it, I would say that it would be filled with lots of love.

rufers54 said...

Copied from Margo Fieseler Minstries

First Corinthians 13, Christmas Version

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator. If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook. If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing. If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.