jump to navigation

Christmas Follow-Up 28 December 2009

Posted by magicdufflepud in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,

I’d meant to write up some warm wishes for everyone a couple days ago, but Christmas came and went, mostly spent on the slopes or in the hot tub. This was as it should have been I suppose, but I’ve been owing you blog entries as well. I promise that the future will hold more skiing-related stuff, too, although for the moment at least, I hope you’ll bear with one more post outside the typical topics for this blog.

Anyway, I’d been meaning to ask a few questions about Christmas’s religious roots. Specifically, I’ve been wondering if you, dear readers, really believe that Jesus arrived in this world the son of the virgin Mary. For all the fuss Americans (myself included) make about the lights and trees and presents and family members and friends and… all of that, the actual meaning of Christmas receives relatively little reflection. Yes, I know that this is a tired theme for anyone who’s listened to the religious right, watched the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, or who followed that whole “War on Christmas” bonanza a few years back. So please trust me when I say I’m not looking to head down any of those paths, because I understand that academically most everyone knows that Christmas celebrates JC’s birth.

What I’m actually after is whether you believe that Mary carried Jesus to term as the product of divine… fertilisation(?). Evidently, 61% of Americans hold that indeed she did. Interesting. And then, to get a head start on an Easter post, do you believe that Jesus died, rose again, and later ascended to Heaven? Have you as a Christian or non-Christian ever truly thought out the ramifications of your considered responses?

I ask because I have almost always found it helpful to think through answers to questions like these since the process itself seems to clarify the issue. That is, you must say to yourself, “Yes, God grew Jesus inside Mary as part of His divine plan for humanity,” which differs markedly from, “Mary conceived a son whom church fathers believed to be God’s earthly manifestation.”   To say the former is to acknowledge the act of faith necessary. The same holds true for the Resurrection, where at the very least, evangelicals, must say, “I believe that Jesus rose from dead, appeared to thousands (and then S/Paul), and then ascended, bodily, to heaven. I do not believe that Mohammed ascended to heaven.”

At a time like Christmas when most thought turns to gift-giving and merry-making, it is best to say these things aloud. Perhaps not in public, but aloud nonetheless. Just to reaffirm or deny them. The physical action prompts the rationale and doesn’t allow for the tacit acknowledgements that cut off reflection. Try it, and maybe you’ll discover a bit more about your holiday convictions.



No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: