Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Christmasization of Life

I'm not going to tell you to put Christ back in Christmas, nor am I going to tell you of it Saturnalia origins, nor am I going to rail about consumerism.

Instead, I want to expand the Advent season to include the whole year. I really want Christmas in July, but not in the usual ways. Whatever else Christmas is about (and it is about a lot of things), it is about the ontological change of the aeons -- the coming of Messiah to bring the "olam haba", the age to come, into fruition. Christmas, then, is about living in a different mode of existence -- not in the way of the old world, but in the way of the new age come in Messiah Jesus. In many ways, this new age is defined by 'righteousness', which has a multivalent definition. The aspect of its meaning that I find most significant at this point in the year is 'set in right relationship'.

So, for Christmas, maybe these presents might be an option (and can even be given last minute):

-Forgive someone who has hurt you, even if they are not seeking or do not want forgiveness
-Seek forgiveness from someone you hurt, especially if you have since lost contact with them
-Break bread with an enemy and listen to their viewpoint, even if you still end up disagreeing with them
-Mediate between two warring parties
-Confess your sins
-Adopt a child

Of course, this need not apply only to human-to-human relationships, or to divine-human ones.

-Care for the neighborhood stray
-Adopt an animal that has been abused
-Stop using destructive means to control pests
-Eat right (which means learn how to cook and bake)

The list could go on, and I'd love to hear your stories/ideas of how you are making Christmas an integral part of your, your family's, your neighborhood's, and your environment's lives.

1 comment:

Jenny Elaine said...

Possibly the most level-headed, reasonable commentary on the Christmas season, ever. Thanks Russ.