Friday, December 5, 2014

Advent Day6: Foolstide

[My Advent posts this year have taken various characters and objects from the story of the coming of The Christ as a little child and ruminated on their thoughts.  Some have found it a bit confusing.  Today, a break from that, an interlude, if you will.  Hence this offering rejoicing the silliness surrounding Christmas in our time and place.]

It is said that the Puritans labeled Christmas Foolstide.

I like that.

I know what they meant.

But I like it anyway.

Let’s stop taking ourselves so seriously.

Yes, Jesus is the reason for the season.

And yes, coming to save the world is a pretty big deal.

But did you ever stop to wonder exactly what Jesus thought he was saving the world from?  Or for?

Maybe you’ve got it right and Jesus was and is saving the world from all its sin (after all, who am I to say otherwise to a couple of thousand years of tradition?).

And maybe he was and is saving the world for God.

I mean, it makes sense, right?

But what makes us think God is found more in quiet cathedrals than in styrofoam penguin santa puppets?

What makes us think that because he was murdered, it is Jesus’ greatest desire that we crawl rather than run and laugh our way to him?

After all, he spends a whole lot of time talking about the weakest, the least, the foolish, the children; yet somehow, from that, we grownups conclude that church is the place where children are shushed and laughter is out of place and heaven forbid we use penguins for our nativities.

Yes, Jesus is the reason for the season.  

But here’s the thing, my serious Christian friends: nothing and no one takes that away.  Not the crass commercialism.  Not the substitution of ‘holiday’ for ‘Christmas’.  Not whether stores are open or not.  

There is no ‘war’ on Christmas, except, perhaps, by some Christians who hold that because the date of Jesus’ birth is unknown, there should be no celebration of it.  I have no problem with these friends.  They are not wrong.  

I have enough of the heritage of the Catholic traditions in me, Protestant that I am, however, to view the taking of things secular and engrafting them into ways Christian – to show, to teach, to bemuse, to transform – as one of great potential in, of and for the Kingdom.

So yes, I, for one, rejoice in styrofoam penguin santa puppets and Batman angels and T-Rex camels and when I order a teenage mutant ninja turtle blimp today for a little friend’s birthday, I will rejoice in my Buddy Jesus Savior and call it a good day.

Happy, blessed, wondrous Foolstide to you!

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