Wednesday 19 November 2014

Dancing around Christmas

Kirk Cameron, the actor who starred in "Fireproof", has a new movie out called "Saving Christmas". I'd like to see it but it isn't playing in Brantford.  It's pretty sad when I can watch "Dumb and Dumber To", but not "Saving Christmas", even though the Christmas season is approaching.

"Saving Christmas" is about getting back to the true meaning of Christmas.  Remember the old TV show special "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965)?  Charlie Brown, frustrated with the materialism of Christmas, directs a Christmas pageant.  But he feels like he's failed when the centrepiece for the whole play is a sad little evergreen tree with a bit of tinsel draped over it.

It is Linus who reminds him about the true meaning of Christmas.  A spotlight shines on Linus who, holding his blue "companion" blanket, takes the stage.  His speech opens with the words:  "And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night." A hush falls over the audience as we ponder Linus' message, that a baby, born in a lowly manger, has come into the world to save us.

How could we, like Charlie Brown, get it so wrong?  The word is CHRISTmas.  We should celebrate Christ.  And yet we dance around the word the way children danced around the forlorn fir tree. We don't even call it Christmas anymore.  The stores advertise "Happy Holidays" and "Seasons Greetings".  Or even "Happy Hannukah" which doesn't fall at the same time as Christmas and isn't even the biggest holiday of the Jewish calendar.  To counter the political correctness campaign, I make a point of saying "Merry Christmas" as loudly and as often as I can.

I'm just as guilty as the next person, however, about turning Christmas into an assembly line of decorating the house, writing Christmas cards, baking dozens of cookies, shopping shoulder-to-shoulder at the mall, wrapping endless gifts, stuffing stockings, stuffing the bird and stuffing my face.

How can I strip it back to its original meaning, the way Linus did?  I need to return to Linus' text, Luke 2: 8.  Then I will feel His presence -- the true meaning of Christmas.  To listen to Linus' speech, click here:

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