Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Real "War on 'Christmas'"

There is a "War on 'Christmas'" going on!  It's the Gospel itself that wars against the 'Christmas’ we all know and love/hate.  It says:

-Turn Black Friday into a Good Friday by practicing Advent.

-Turn away from Norman Rockwell and Thomas Kinkade visions of Christmas and learn to see what happened in the inn as the first step in an intentional campaign of “sabotage” (C.S. Lewis) against the very world the Rockwell/Kinkade vision sentimentalizes and underwrites.

-Turn to the ancient image of Mary as “wet-nurse of salvation” to counter gnostic tendencies that fail to take the real fleshliness of the incarnation and our salvation seriously and allow themselves to be coopted by intellectualistic and commercial interests.

-Turn to the cross/resurrection as the fulfillment of the incarnation and the fullness of the meaning of his birth, life for us and for our world.  In this sense the great Isenhiem Altarpiece of Grünewald picturing John the Baptist pointing his long, boney finger toward a gaunt, torn, and suffering Christ on the cross is an appropriate and necessary Christmas image.

-Turn to the Twelve Days of Christmas as the proper “time” for the celebration of the incarnation of the Christ-Child.

This is the “War on ‘Christmas’” that we need to fight, not the one about saying “Merry Christmas” or advocating for public nativity scenes, or other nonsense of that ilk.  Not only does that approach to “defending” Christmas trivialize it, it prevents the true measure and “scandal” of the incarnation from getting a hearing.  So if we’re going to participate in this “War” in any way, let it be on the side of the Gospel battling “Christmas” rather defending “Christmas” against real or imagined attacks against it!


There is a "War on 'Christmas'" going on!  It's the Gospel itself that wars against the 'Christmas’ we all know and love/hate.  It says:

-Turn Black Friday into a Good Friday by practicing Advent.

-Turn away from Norman Rockwell and Thomas Kinkade visions of Christmas and learn to see what happened in the inn as the first step in an intentional campaign of “sabotage” (C.S. Lewis) against the very world the Rockwell/Kinkade vision sentimentalizes and underwrites.

-Turn to the ancient image of Mary as “wet-nurse of salvation” to counter gnostic tendencies that fail to take the real fleshliness of the incarnation and our salvation seriously and allow themselves to be coopted by intellectualistic and commercial interests.

-Turn to the cross/resurrection as the fulfillment of the incarnation and the fullness of the meaning of his birth, life for us and for our world.  In this sense the great Isenhiem Altarpiece of Grünewald picturing John the Baptist pointing his long, boney finger toward a gaunt, torn, and suffering Christ on the cross is an appropriate and necessary Christmas image.

-Turn to the Twelve Days of Christmas as the proper “time” for the celebration of the incarnation of the Christ-Child.

This is the “War on ‘Christmas’” that we need to fight, not the one about saying “Merry Christmas” or advocating for public nativity scenes, or other nonsense of that ilk.  Not only does that approach to “defending” Christmas trivialize it, it prevents the true measure and “scandal” of the incarnation from getting a hearing.  So if we’re going to participate in this “War” in any way, let it be on the side of the Gospel battling “Christmas” rather defending “Christmas” against real or imagined attacks against it!

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