copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2015
We are so accustomed to celebrating holidays with a certain emotion which seems intrinsic to that holiday that we generally don’t think about why or if that emotion is appropriate to the holiday.
Good Friday is clearly a somber occasion and our emotions are quite turned down on that day. The Churches drape themselves in black and people come to Church to mourn.
Christmas, however, is joyous. Much gift giving and party attending and celebration. But is that the appropriate emotion for the ‘celebration’ of the birth of Jesus?
The bible clearly talks about and acknowledges Jesus as God. Although maybe not God again until the resurrection – because before that Jesus is human and experiencing all of the good and bad of life in human form.
Why did God have to come to earth to subject God’s self to our infirmities, sadnesses, pain, sin and more? To save us from our sins – so says the bible. Once the virgin birth happens we celebrate the arrival of God on earth because our sins are forgiven – penance has been paid once and for all times with the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus.
What a horrible thought and what an awful commentary on all of us. We celebrate that God has had to take human form because we would not stop sinning. Jesus the Christ brought forgiveness of all of our sins. We seem to have brought jealousy, anger, resentment, and much more as we go downhill with the ugly side of human nature.
To me, it seems we should sit with sack cloth in ashes beating our breasts because we brought God down to such a low level. To celebrate the necessity of such an act and gift because we could or would not act solely out of our better nature is but a small part of Christmas. The larger part is the tearing apart of our garments because of what we caused the God we supposedly worship to experience. Caring plus Empathy equals Love, some say. We care about God, but we have no empathy so how do we get from Caring about God to Loving God? The way we celebrate Christmas shows our complete lack of empathy. The way we live shows how strongly we care about what God can give us, which is where we calculate God’s worth. Which is why we pray. And, if God doesn’t answer our prayers we question God’s existence.
Our self-absorption and self-centeredness overwhelms every other emotion. We act as though we are God and God is really our concierge. Suggest prayer is about something other than the adult version of a child’s prayer for a bicycle will bring down the wrath of the world on your head and not just the Christian world.
We act out the necessity of such a sacrifice, the birth of Jesus, everyday many times a day, even some two thousand plus years after that original sacrifice. Parenting gives one a little look into the love God had to have for us to do such a thing. Sacrifice your adult life to raise your children and give them what they need to get through life to its end and what do you receive in return? From what we have seen – mostly entitlement from your children. The moments of genuine love and giving are few and far between. Sounds like a re-enactment of why God felt it necessary to become human for our sake. God gave us Jesus and we responded by replacing Jesus with Santa Claus.
Buying all kind of presents from retail shops; getting together with friends and too much alcohol; dreading Christmas dinner with the family because it will end in horribleness; and I could go on and on. We are doing all of this while there are so many people in pain; at the end of their lives and alone not able to pass along their immortality, which to most of us is our life story. Why can’t we pass along our life story? Because no one is listening. Only celebrities and the rich and famous get to do that.
And it does seem to be getting worse, this ‘celebration’ of Christmas. It starts right after Halloween and continues through January. Some of us ease our consciences by making an effort to give a small part of our ‘celebration’ to those in need – and generally that is a very small part, usually limited to this one time Christmas gift giving.
We turn our Churches into concert halls for the holiday and pat ourselves on the back as to how wonderful we are because of it. We don’t do that by bringing those in need, to whom we dedicate those concerts, into the Church/Concert Hall for an evening joining with others to meet and greet and celebrate and form longer lasting relationships, but by using that Concert Hall atmosphere to indulge our need to lift ourselves above the pact with the nobless oblige feelings that creates in us.
The holiday in Christianity to celebrate would be Easter. However, Easter passes with barely a note, a present, a celebration. Not many family dinners because we go off to warmer climes or to celebrate other than at home and the less fortunate we give a small bit of our resources to over Christmas does not repeat over Easter.
We don’t stop to think of what a sacrifice it was for God to take on human form and all of the pains and vicissitudes of being human. If we let those thoughts into our consciousnesses for even a moment our lives would change. We give lip service to that and move on with our celebration.
Having given us 30 plus years – the way we count time – it was enough. We rewarded Jesus the Christ, for this gift we celebrate at Christmas of God becoming equal to us all for our sake, with a crucifixion.
One interpretation of the resurrection after the crucifixion is that it could be that God was disgusted with the scene he was a part of and after the horrible experience of the crucifixion, took back this gift of equality and of giving an example to all of humanity of how life could be lived with a different set of values, a different character, a different morality and so got out of here to a better place, leaving us with the mess, corruption, ugliness that we created and continue to wallow in because that seems far better to us than to clean ourselves up and act in a way that would not need such a sacrifice from God.
Not the least of our sins is the one which led us to using the story of Jesus on this earth as a way to strengthen sexism – by declaring Jesus’ birth as a male child the justification for the extreme Paternalism and Male Superiority which pervades our Churches.
Next to that is the fact that we took Jesus’ birth and life as a reason to reinforce racism by portraying ‘him’ with White skin and softly flowing blondish-brown hair. Would that be shoring up the racism we practice?
This is all such a pattern of how we live. Didn’t we take God-given food grown with sunlight, air, rain and turned it into something horrible with the introduction of chemicals, machinery to change its texture, color and nutritional value because man could make more money when its sold – bought cheap from the farmer, ‘ processed’ and sold for a fortune to everyone else?
Don’t we continually destroy the beautiful universe around us? It is so beautiful to look up at the sky; to see the flowers; to enjoy the life giving oxygen of the trees – until we cut them up, cut them down to make money? And guns? and so many artificial things we don’t need, but work ourselves to death to obtain, neglecting that which is real and of God?
How long, O God, must we suffer the pangs and vicissitudes of our humanity. It doesn’t look at all changed over these two thousand plus years. We are still a sinful humanity. What did your birth change – really?
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Ed Note: This is a very Christian message. We thought long and hard before putting it in the blog, but our need to be open to the world far overtook our concerns about printing it.
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