Friday, November 6, 2015
The parade of sappy love stories that masquerade as Christmas TV has started. I go though this every year, and repetition does not make it better. There are a few TV shows that are repeated every year that have become a tradition: A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Story, Home Alone, It's a Wonderful Life, and A Christmas Carol have become staples in our Christmas viewing experience at my house. Please notice than none of these are love stories. Some of them are humorous, and some are just rousing good stories set in a Christmas background. Some actually depend on acting! It's hard to beat Jimmy Stewart and Darren McGavin. Some of the other actors in these classic films are excellent too. Macaulay Culkin as Kevin endears himself to me every year. The crooks and the family were all funny and afforded Kevin revenge and triumph. However enjoyable these films are or funny or traditional, they don't match the meaning of the birth of a Savior so it's really hopeless to find the meaning of Christmas in a film made for commerce, even a good one.
I guess I'm not very fashion conscious. The new trends don't impress me much. Lime green and fuchsia don't strike me as Christmas colors. Getting drunk does't do much for me either. I'm more into reading the Bible story that started it all and cooking dinner and having family to love and laugh with. I like Christmas Eve Communion and candlelight; I like hymns and fruit cake and boiled custard.(I can give you the recipe.)
The Christmas Story reminds me of tragedy and sacrifice. Not all the elements of the first Christmas are celebrated or re-enacted. Three of my children were born Christmas week, but I didn't go to the barn to have a one of them, and we had a barn. Modern thought has romanticized the barn until it isn't even a threat to the life of the child that was born there. Now they talk about soft hay, and warmth, and safety. Hay is not soft. I had a barn and I know. Barns are smelly, dusty, unfitted for having a baby.
For Christmas this year I want to recognize the sacrifices that make this season a joy and the glories that resonate in my soul when I remember that the Baby Jesus grew up to be the Savior of the world. There is more to Christmas than tinsel and frivolity. There is glory and love never-ceasing. Read Matthew 1:18-2:23 and Luke 2:1-38.