Monday, 17 December 2007

What’s so silly about the silly season? (Apart from my spelling......)

It’s that time of year. Christmas, or (as it’s popular to call it today) the "Silly Season." It's the time of year when people spend a lot of money on Christmas presents, people get more stressed then they need to, and us Christians try to convince the world that it’s all about celebrating Jesus’ birthday, with one of the cheesiest slogans of all time-
Jesus is the reason for the season.

Yet when I think about some of the aspects of Christmas today and the life and teachings of Jesus, I can’t help feeling that it would be difficult to think of a way celebrating the birth of Christ which is less befitting of Jesus’ life and character. Pigging out on food, getting wasted at Christmas parties, stressing out over small things, making lists of all the things we want, speed, speed, speed........ stress, stress stress... all flying directly in contrast to the way Jesus called us to live.

And then when we do come to the parts of Christmas which do have some connection to Jesus, we seem to really more on tradition than what The Bible says happened. I mean, look at this popular Christmas Carroll, and at all the points where it reflect the “traditional” story of the birth of Christ, rather than the one which if found in the Bible.

Long time ago in Bethlehem so the Holy Bible said Mary's boy child Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Day.

We all know that Jesus was almost certainly not born on Christmas day, as the bible does’t not give any date to when he was born,

Hark now hear the angels sing a king was born today

The angles did NOT sing as Christmas. Luke says  "suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and SAYING ( not singing) “ Glory to God in the highest...” (Luke 2 13-14) In fact it’s likely that angels do not sing at all.

And man will live for evermore because of Christmas Day.

Actually, it’s because of what happened at Easter, not Christmas which means that we will live forever.

While shepherds watch their flocks by night, they see a bright new shining star, they hear a choir sing a song, the music seemed to come from afar.

Again, the angels did not sing. And the Bible does not say that the magi followed a new star, it just calls it ‘his” star.

Hark, now hear the angels sing, a king was born today, And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day.

Now Joseph and his wife, Mary, came to Bethlehem that night, they found no place to bear her child, not a single room was in sight.

And then they found a little nook in a stable all forlorn, and in a manger cold and dark, Mary's little boy was born.

The Bible does’t say that they came to Bethlehem the same night that Jesus was born; it just says that “while they were there.” And we don’t know if Jesus was born at night or during the day.

That all said, there IS a lot of good which comes out of Christmas. People get to spend time with their family, which is a good thing. Some people go to church that otherwise wouldn’t. Giving gifts to people is great!! We need to become more generous people. Charity organizations like the City Mission do a lot of good work to help make Christmas special for those who need it, and many people give generously to these causes. We get a day off work (which dosn’t really make up for all the extra work we need to do before Christmas, but hay).

So is Christmas a good thing or a bad thing? I believe that there is a lot of good in Christmas. But we also need to think a little deeper about how we use it to honor God. I don’t think we should follow the J-dabs and drop Christmas altogether. Neither should we embrace every element of chritsmas without think about whether or not it honors God. With a little bit of thought and prayer, we can make this silly season an act of worship to God.

Marry Christmas to you all.