Friday, December 09, 2005

To celebrate or not to celebrate

I may ruffle a few feathers with this one--just being honest here,however. I don't understand Christians who don't believe in celebrating Christmas. When most of the world is focused on Christ, why turn away? Oh, I know, we often focus more on presents than giving and on spending than the birth. That is not my point.

When I was in high school, a very strong church family decided that celebrating Christmas was wrong. They gave no presents, had no tree nor any decorations, and went out of their way to tell others how wrong they were to join the world in celebrating a secular holiday. That puzzled me then and still does.

Celebration is just another form of thankfulness. Why are we so afraid of celebration? If the world is joined in celebrating the One we love and follow, must we refuse to do so and appear strange and quirky? And if you reply that the world really does not understand what or who they are celebrating--maybe they need a little tutelage from those of us who are steeped in the meaning of the Incarnation. In their last issue, The Christian Chronicle interviewed a woman who said she was known to walk out of a worship service when they sang Silent Night in December. She felt it should be sung all through the year, and perhaps she is right--we do need to celebrate the birth of Christ more than one time a year. Another interviewee said that she felt that churches who put up trees, sang "Christmas" songs, etc. were participating in the "secularization of the church." Do sound systems, song books, Power Point, and radio and TV programs count in that too?

The Incarnation is too important to miss. It may well be the most caring thing God ever did for His creation outside of the death of His son, and I think it is well worth celebrating any time of the year.

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