Tuesday, December 27, 2005I'm afraid... it's going to be one of those posts...
If I were superstitious (which I am not... really!), I'd say that Eric over at Gleanings of Grace jinxed my Christmas. However, I know all too well that it was probably a warning from the Lord Himself! You see, just before leaving to spend Christmas at my in-laws, I read this post. Amen, amen, Pastor Spurgeon.
The fact of the matter is, like the prince of preachers put it so well, there really isn't, or ever has been, anything particularly "Christian" in "Christmas". From it's Romanist roots to it's present wasteful and materialistic mess, the way I see it, Christmas has always been far more of an aggravation and stumbling block to Christians than a blessing. I've been saved for roughly 19 years now, 9 of those years I've been a pretty serious Christian, and I'd say the last 6, I've been a full blown fundamentalist. And throughout all these years, I can affirm one thing, without question: the best Christmas was, spiritually, only a mediocre one. I have never gone through a Christmas season having done as good, or better in the spiritual realm as any other time of the year. And this year was no different.
That's a problem.
Being a scientist by trade, when faced with a problem, I strive to find an answer. As it stands right now, I'm SERIOUSLY tempted to do away with Christmas completely. No more waste, no more spending on stuff no one needs, no more training my kids in materialism and over consumption. All of it sounds pretty good to me.
But then, there's another problem.
Again, in the world of science, it isn't uncommon that when remedying one problem, another is created. Doing away with Christmas causes all sorts of nightmares with family and friends... saved and unsaved. Trying to abstain from the various Christmas traditions and activities that surrounds me every mid-December is like trying to keep the tide from coming in; and to be quite honest, I don't think Christmas is a great enough scourge to warrant a tremendous amount of energy spent fighting against it.
So I'm back to square one. That is, trying to get away with celebrating Christmas (with all the gifts, food and family events), while trying to keep a respectable focus on the Lord Jesus Christ. This compromised solution seems all good, but like I mentioned before, I HAVE NEVER MANAGED TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS WITH ANY DEGREE OF GODLINESS (nor have I ever seen any other Christian succeed in doing so).
Now before anyone comments that I'm a whiner for making such a big fuss over ONE day, let me precise that Christmas is NOT JUST ONE DAY for my family. Every Christmas time, we travel to my in-laws, where we usually spend 5-6 days visiting my wife's family and friends, and there is a number of Christmas activities in those 5-6 days. And it doesn't end there! Then we travel back home to visit my side of the family where there is more Christmas stuff awaiting (I have to admit that this second round is far less aggravating since we usually spend only one day with my family and since my Mom and Dad are saved, there is usually some spirituality in our time together).
So what do you say, dear readers? Any suggestions?
"Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." (Proverbs 11:14)