Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Secular World vs Christmas

Or is it Santa vs Jesus?

Ladies and Gentlemen...
In this corner, in the red shorts, we have an old, rotund, generous man with a thing for Reindeer and chimneys.  And in this corner, in the linen shorts, the incarnation, God become flesh, Jesus of Nazareth, Son of God.

It sometimes seems that way this time of year, doesn't it?

Our kids are now preparing for their Christmas, sorry, Winter Holiday presentation at school.  Atticus' class was rehearsing their song "Here Comes Santa Claus"  and the kids were informed that they were going to have to change some of the lyrics so as to not offend anyone.  (Let's pause for a moment of "What?!  You've GOT to be kidding me.")  Yes, they had to change "hang your stockings and say your prayers" and they of course had to jettison "Let's give thanks to the Lord above because Santa Claus is coming tonight." 

So yes, "Here Comes Santa Claus" is not secular enough for our present culture.

On one hand, I get it.  There are Jewish and Muslim kids in the school too, and we need to be sensitive to them, but sometimes, it really does feel like the Babe in the manger is being drowned in consumerism and cultural sensitivity, and that the secular world is winning.

Then there are times that the God of truth comes breaking through the secular world.

Beatrice was playing a game on the computer - the games usually have some annoying synthesizer music in them that I ask to be turned off, so that I can hold on to whatever sanity I have left, but I was not yet at this point. I was cleaning in the kitchen, and I found myself singing "give thanks with a grateful heart."  I stopped, and listened, and the tune seemed to be coming from the game Beatrice was playing. Sure enough, the chicken-pot-pie game was playing out "give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ his son."

Don't believe me?  Check it out for yourself by clicking here.  (There is a different song at the beginning - also familiar, but I can't place it.  You actually have to begin the game to hear "Give Thanks.")

This is not a christian website or game company, (that I know of.)  I just feel like God was reaching through it to me.

Maybe it's not about who wins the Christmas battle, maybe it's about balance?

Yes it's true that it seems at times the secular world is crushing Christmas, and I need to fervently hold on to truth and meaning.

But it's also true that the God of the universe can speak through the chicken pot pie video game, and remind Andrew while he is cleaning the kitchen to have a grateful heart.

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