Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Post-Christmas Ramblings

I read on the news of the furious Christians who insist that we not remove "Christ" from Christmas, that we have "Christmas Trees" and not "Holiday Trees", etc.

I don't know about you, but most of the Christians I've known barely include Christ in Christmas to begin with... How then can we complain that those who don't know Christ want Him removed from their attention. The Christians don't even pay particular attention to Jesus during Christmas, except in cutsie Christmas card cliches, church pageants and the salvation army guys dressed like Santa (Salvation/Santa? Go figure!).

"Ok kids, let's get up early and read the Christmas Story in the Bible before we over-indulge for the next few days." Yeah, Christ is fully worshiped as we feast on food and drink as many around the world will not eat. How many hungry people could we feed with the resources spent buying stuff for each other that often finds it's way into a seldom-used existence on a shelf somewhere?

Does Jesus really relish that we celebrate His advent by celebrating materialism, putting up decorations, singing of snow, chestnuts, mistletoe, etc? Is that why He came, so we could have more stuff, and smell the fresh pine-scented air?

Did Jesus have much to say about Christmas Trees when He walked among the disciples two thousand years ago? Sheesh, I sound like a Jehovah's Witness! Some are probably thinking I sound like the scrooge.

Christmas is great. I LIKE Christmas. Really, I do. I just wish that it could have more to do with Jesus than it does. I wish that we, as worshipers of the Son would invest more of our efforts, attention, and resources into things that matter to Him. Let's keep the trees, the wreaths, the greenery, and yes, even some modest gifts. Then, let's experience the true joy of advent and go out and bring hope to the needy, gifts to the poor, etc.

So that's my challenge to self as I write this. I want to break free from the cultural view of Christmas that exalts everything except Jesus and brings rot to the heart.

Any other takers?

The balmy-cold gray days of winter

What is it about winter in the northeast? We can never seem to have a solidly cold, or solidly warm winter... always just enough of each in constant rotation to keep one nearly miserable. Not enough cold and snow to get into something fun like dog-sledding, and not warm enough to go outside and enjoy the sunshine. Everything is just gray. Yuck!

With the indecisive weather seems to come a similar spiritual experience too. Warm, then cold. Warm, then cold. Why is that? Who knows? Fortunately, God's love for me doesn't change when I am fickle in my attention towards Him. Perhaps people have their spiritual winters too? I know I seem to have several per year. Sometimes for a year or more at a time.

I guess the benefit is that the winter brings rest and renewal in a weird, depressing and boring kind of way. It's kind of like nap time was when I was a kid. Not something I relished, but was probably good for me. Just like the earth is resting this time of year, perhaps we do to?

I look forward to breaking through the "winter" of the soul soon and experiencing more "son". Till then, I guess the gray, balmy-cold days of winter will have to do.

First Post, Oh Yeah

Heh there. I've had lot's of stuff on my mind for many years. I'm not one to journal because my handwriting aint so good, so I thought, why not just blog my thoughts and provoke others to wrath with some of my ideas? So, that's what I intend to do. I don't know or care if anyone will read them, but it will be good for me to write it out, and perhaps good for someone else to read as well.

What to write about?

My chief aim in life is to "know Christ, and the power of His resurrection". That's what I'm about, or at least want to be about. That's all I want to be about.

Like you, I've got a 'normal' life of getting up, going to work, being a family member, etc. so some of that is bound to infiltrate my thoughts as they appear on these pages. However, what I really want to do is share a little bit about what I am learning in some of my own searchings to know more of Jesus.

Sound like religious B.S.? Well, religion it's not. I don't intend to use this space to make any religious arguments or defend a position. Knowing Jesus is not a religious pursuit! It's a journey!

For those who've found Him... press on. Abide. For those who don't know Him, ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He will! And your life will NEVER be the same again.