Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Matt 24 watch, 182: Grinches trying to steal Christmas (and Easter) -- and why we should not help them

The Grinch at "work" (story)
Sometimes, Evangelical Christians can be heard complaining about how commericalised and secular Christmas (and Easter) have become. Some -- especially those in some sects -- are prone to emphasise how such holidays have an indisputably pagan element, tracing to Saturnalia (and spring rites of Ishtar etc). Some even mutter about the "X" in X-mas (not realising that the "X" is actually the Greek letter Chi, first letter in "Christ" . . . meaning, Messiah, cf. video here).

I think that is a big mistake.

Christmas and Easter -- never mind the commericalisation etc. (and, some retailers may do 1/4 to 1/2 the year's sales in the Christmas rush, so even that is understandable) -- are golden cultural opportunities to present the gospel in a culturally attractive way, and to provide a well-presented answer as to the reason for our hope in Christ. 

The autograph title page (HT: Wiki)
For instance, Handel's immortal Messiah oratorio has never been excelled; and yes, I deliberately chose a mere student group's performance. This astonishing piece of the classical canon of music is not wholly beyond the reach of mere mortals!

 Here (as a sampler) is the "Unto us . . . ," which joyously announces the royalty and reign of the newly born Messiah, as is prophesied in Isaiah 9:1 - 6:

Even just a snippet like this, is an occasion for celebration, and will help open hearts and minds to hear the reason for the evident and overflowing joy. 

Indeed, such seasons are times for honest joy and enjoyment.

Not to mention, an occasion to learn and to teach the lesson, that it is better to give than to receive, including those who are less fortunate in our circle of celebration.

As the Apostle Paul said, we are to "make the most of our opportunities" even in the face of an evil day.

And as for the other Grinches, such as the angry atheists and other secularists of the ilk who would insist on doing things like posting this screed:

The Freedom FROM Religion Foundation display at Christmas time at the state capitol in Wisconsin. Cf response to the main claims being asserted here.

. . . at the State Capitol in Wisconsin, at Christmas time, let the following two links suffice by way of reply:
1: The game-changer, the Christ who came, lived among us as a person of history, died for sins and rose from the dead.

2: Answering typical atheistical talking points.
Let us make the best use of the upcoming Advent season, to communicate the good and cheerful news of Jesus to all men, even in the face of what is too often an evil day as there is one who knows his time is now very short indeed.

So, let us rejoice and look up, for our Redemption draweth nigh! END