I want our holy day to return | Jesus’ Creed

Several years ago, I read a book by Vincent J. Miller called “Consuming Religion: Christian Faith and Practice in a Consuming Culture”. The author’s point is that our culture does not oppose religion as much as it consumes it. That is, when the church says to our culture: “Christmas is a special day for us”, our culture does not say: “You cannot celebrate Christmas”, but instead says: “Yes Christmas is a great time of year. Can we help you? Why don’t we have a sale for you as you celebrate Christmas? “

The church, of course, takes the matter. Who wouldn’t want 30% off Black Friday? Love is expressed by the size of the gift or the cost of the gift. According to our world, it’s a great Christmas if everyone buys a bunch of stuff. (Hence the anxiety of the supply chain in our world of having to face Christmas with empty shelves.) The world is starting Christmas sales earlier and earlier and extending them later and later. . Now stores will stay open until midnight on Christmas Eve and even Christmas morning in case you forget to buy batteries.

And somewhere along the way, Jesus is lost among the boxes and the wrapping paper. The angel’s song is muffled behind Christmas carols recorded on reindeer and snow. (Have you ever noticed how mundane Christmas carols are when they try to avoid the Christmas story?) We’re overspending. We eat too much. We do everything too much! We come out of the Christmas season exhausted, frustrated, broke and determined that next year will be different.

We will not be traveling as much. We will not be spending that much. We will not eat too much. We are determined to make a difference and then remember that it was the year that was going to be different last year.

In the south we have a sentence: “Fixin ‘to get ready.” While no one can really explain it, we all know what it means. The phrase means that you are getting ready to do something like “I am getting ready to go to the store.” You want to come ? But when you hear the phrase for the first time, you’re not sure what the person is saying. Are they going to do something? Are they preparing to do something? Are they going to do something after they finish preparing what they need to prepare?

Either way, you get the point. And honestly, we spend a lot of time “fixing to get ready” for Christmas. We plan our vacation around Christmas. We are making arrangements with our extended family to find out who will meet, where and where all the grandchildren will sleep. We spend a lot of time trying to find the right gift based on how close the recipient is to us. You can’t buy a gift that says too much or too little. The family dynamic is balanced so that we can all survive the holidays.

We end up getting stressed and depressed about a lot of things that have nothing to do with Christmas. The world will object. “Hey, they’ll say, isn’t Christmas about love and family?

No, Christmas is not a family matter. It’s great if you can celebrate Christmas with your family, but Christmas is Jesus.

And no, Christmas is not about love – at least not love as the world defines it. The world defines love as a dizzying emotion, not as a choice to sacrifice everything for the loved one. The love of Christmas is much deeper and very different from the secular versions.

Christmas is worship. Christmas is all about responding to the one thing we knew we needed but wouldn’t have dared to ask for. We are so lost and disorganized that we know we won’t make it if God doesn’t come Himself. Who would ask for such a thing? Then God shows Himself in Christ and our only response is worship.

Think about it. Everyone in the story of Christmas loves it.

Marie loves it.

Elizabeth loves it.

Zacharie loves it.

Shepherds and wise men worship.

Simeon and Anna love it.

Angels worship.

Everyone in the story is singing and praising God.

We? We’re lining up for the latest video game.

I think Miller is right. I think the world stole Christmas from us and to start, I want to get it back. I don’t want a Christmas vacation. I want to get my holy day back.

I want time to marvel at the miracle of God coming into our world.

I want to think about the risk he took in coming as a baby.

I want to think about how different the world is now that God has told us his name – Jesus.

I want the joy that comes from seeing the Child.

I want the wonder of being so close to God that I can feel his breath on my cheek.

I want the peace of knowing that the king is here and soon his kingdom will be too.

I don’t want to spend any more time “fixing and preparing” for all these things that have nothing to do with Christmas. I don’t want to travel. I don’t want to go shopping. I do not want to eat. I want to worship.

Christ was born. It’s quite a gift.

The king has come. Our Savior is here. That’s enough.

I am exhausted from the holidays.

I want to get my holy day back.

I want to worship.

There is nothing the world can sell that comes close.

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