It’s December 10, 2007. There are a mere two weeks before Christmas and, face it, we’re flat running out of time to find a Nintendo Wii—or whatever it is.
It’s Macy’s Day all over again, a perversion of the season. The focus has shifted from giving to getting. Getting the perfect gift or getting the perfect gift for someone else so we will, in turn, receive that perfect reaction and perhaps something more. Our motives are tainted, our eyesight is dim. We are nearsighted and blind…but we press on toward the goal. What is our goal this season? Is it the perfect Christmas gift? Is it the preaching of the gospel?
I find it difficult, sometimes, to focus on Christ this time of year, don’t you? There is so much going on and so many distractions. Even at the church there is much ado about things about Him. Christmas cantata’s and candlelight services and Sunday School parties and you name it. Myriad events swirling around our heads like so many sugarplums.
I am going to try to shift some of that focus to the Gospel this year. At least I am going to try in my own life and family to do so. I resent the fact that Christmas has been shoplifted by the merchants and the retailers. I also acknowledge that it has always had a worldly taint to it simply because the church, though instituted by God, is run by man most of the time. It is the product of the Catholic church attempting to ‘contextualize’ by merging pagan holidays with its own Christian calendar. It is flawed, but it’s still Christmas and I can still try to reclaim some of it for recalling Jesus into our everyday lives.
I am going to do this by starting in Luke and wandering around the gospels a bit until we get to Jesus’ baptism. Then we’ll pick up with Mark 1 in earnest.
God bless and Merry Christmas.