Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"And so this is Christmas..."

We all have our preconceived notion of what Christmas is.
This would probably consist of such things as gifts - receiving and giving -, decorations, red and green and gold, Santa, snow, cold weather, family and traveling, a manger scene, and lots of good food, along with varying family traditions and differing personal perspective. This general ideology has stayed the same for many years, but I believe the heart of America is shifting. In fact, I would look back to a great upheaval a few decades ago, when the revolutionizing angst of the new generation was embodied. Don't get me wrong, we've been slipping and sliding farther and farther away from the truth ever since Adam and Eve took the forbidden fruit, and there have been many backslidden eras before the 60's and 70's brought long, greasy hair and striped bell-bottoms into the mix. But this is where we are today, near 2013 and... well... where that's going. I'm sure each one of us could give a fairly accurate definition of where that is, positives and negatives alike. But I do believe the cultural spit-up we like to gloss over can teach us something. Besides, things rarely get better without other's getting much worse.
  Famed musician John Lennon was the icon of the peace movement, as well as the biggest drug influence over hip teens of the day. I guess you could say, his words were gospel, to many; he really shows us the hippie heart of the time! So examining the words and ideas of his popular songs can be helpful to not only see where many people were in the 60's and 70's, but where we are headed today, or perhaps were we already are. After all, the "liberals of yesterday are the conservatives of today."
So, this Christmas season, what does our secular culture tell us about ourselves?
You can see Lennon's de-
glorification of Christmas in his
album name, "X-mas..."
  Lennon's opening line of Merry Xmas, War is Over is "And so this is Christmas..." Without the foundation of Jesus, what is Christmas? An intellectual like Lennon, however stoned he was, would recognize that a holiday centered on an old myth that makes little sense, and a just-as-likely (to him) folklore of an old fat man carrying presents to everybody in the whole wide world on an air-born sleigh drawn by flying deer is a sad holiday indeed. Sure, it gives the economy a boom with all the gifts being bought, and many people seem happy, but after all is said and done, the tree gets hulled to the curb to die, gifts are broken, as well as some hearts, people are in debt, families separate, and we settle in for another month or two of slush, ice, accidents, runny noses, and frostbite. His logical conclusion? "What have you done? Another year over, and a new one just begun... Lets hope it's a good one, without any fear."   Because without a Savior, that's what there is, holiday or not. Getting older, hoping for good times, and wishing away the war and fear. I applaud him for bringing a sense of unity to the human race, coming out of a time of segregation and prejudice, but for all his love, peace, and hope hype, he was not a happy man. Smart, yes, but knowledge doesn't save. Jesus does. The same Jesus that is the reason for the season, and who we should focus on during the holidays, when so many things vy for our attention. So have a very merry Christmas, and a happy new year. All of you, whether black, white, young, old, weak, or strong. But heed Lennon's warning, and don't lose sight of where hope is really found, and why we celebrate, even after all the twinkling lights are put back in the box.

The Reason for the Season

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