On the Desentimentalization of Christmas, and also, Why I need Story

The sermon was titled "Keeping Satan in Christmas". How's that to catch your attention? The thesis was simple, however. The pastor referenced the cries to "keep Christ in Christmas" and "remember that Jesus is the reason for the season" and argued that its not enough to merely remember that He is the reason for the season, but to also remember why this is the case. The text was 1 John 3:8 which reads:
"The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work"
And HE DID JUST THAT.  He came and He defeated Sin and Death; He defeated our mortal Enemy.

I know it's all too easy to focus on the sweet picture of the Nativity, the gentle animals, the halo crowned Holy Family. To celebrate the giving of gifts, like the wisemen. To wish peace on earth.
But, personally, I can't have it stop there. To stay within the safe bounds of this sentimental picture leaves me empty. I need more than that. I need to know about the conflict for my soul, about the battle, and the glorious victory.

Reader, I'm not going to give my thoughts the justice I'd like here, but I'm going to attempt it anyway. This is why I immerse myself in the great stories; why I need Tolkien's and Lewis' fantasies. For, when I read of the great battles fought, the sacrifice, the love in many different forms, I am given a framework through which I only just slightly begin to grasp the actuality of the real battle for the souls of men that has gone down since the beginning of time. And I am given hope, because with this knowledge, I can rest knowing that life is not just about "get up, go to work, sleep, repeat until death", but rather that is only a smidgen of the beginning of the rest of eternity, which will be far more glorious than anything I can possibly imagine.

And for that, I am thankful.

1 comment

  1. Yes, yes, yes, Sarah! An ornament I sent to one of our children for Christmas is a star with a cross inside it. The birth is meaningless without the death, and we need to remember both. And what a gift to have writers who can remind us of it in such compelling ways!