What happens, though, when we remember who we are in Christ and the message of the Gospel? Maybe even breathing in the stench of the stable (and the shepherds)? The stereotypical Christmas immediately takes on a totally different meaning. Our dark, depraved, cursed world needs something more than our picture perfect ideas. It requires the condescension and sacrifice of our glorious Savior. It is also compels His followers to rethink what we think and do in and around December 25, and the rest of the year.
I ran across a great dose of truth the other day in a piece written by Chelsea Kolz, a college student at Patrick Henry College, challenging our picture perfect Christmas. I hope it helps you as it has me. Here's short quote from the article and the link is below it. Let me know what you think.
Christmas for me begins to really mean something when it intrudes itself upon a world that actually seems dark. I learned this in the 11th grade in Bath, N.Y., at a hotel bar. I was singing Christmas carols in the extra-special high school choir, beneath the direction of a tall skinny man so much like a match I frequently envisioned overturning him and rubbing his head against the floor to see if his hair would ignite.
He had brought us to that bar at Christmas, for it was a warm place to rehearse for our performance that evening in the park in the middle of town. Fat kids, skinny kids, ceiling sopranos, high-browed tenors, sleepy altos, and just-bearded basses, sang with Christmas grins to the inebriates of the village. It gave everyone involved immense pleasure.
We sang a song that had guts—“Joy to the World.” That year “Joy to the World” became my favorite song, and it has been ever since. I realized with a jolt that it was about the whole world, about my high school and town, and about me. I had been born again because Christ had been born, and if I ever knew it, I knew it then....
I felt a special dynamite, singing the truth in such a setting, which I have never felt here. Of course, there is the possibility that I am just annually grouchy when I live among Christians. I am hardly so inhuman as to feel wholly impervious to the festal, but I do love it more when I am squeezed to think about the desperate seriousness of its meaning....
When I begin to feel the weight of the Gospel that is entrusted to me, there is suddenly nothing sugary about Christmas. But there is something electrifying, like fireworks.