Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Its pretty cliche at this point to lament the commercialization of Christmas. Its the same old complaint usually voiced in pretty much the same way. And each and every year I have to confess, I make and break the same promise - to not wait until the last minute to shop, to avoid the crowds, to finish early and bunker down safe at home for the duration. This year as I was once again fulfilling my annual tradition of breaking said promise, I found a new irritant rankling away on my nerves. It wasn't the crowds, it wasn't the end cap loaded with the animated dancing Santa's playing the saxophone for $14.99, and it wasn't the much harangued sales clerks. This year is was the Christmas muzak.

As I walked through the aisles of the local department store it seemed almost insidious to me. But apart from some very poor recording choices on the part of some very well known vocalist, there was something else that was bothering me. I think it was that so much of the music had so little to do with the actual event of the birth of Christ. And perhaps also to hear an event that is so sacred to me trivialized with brainless diddies about sleds and reindeer. But the most irritating to me were the songs of recording artist talking about what Christmas "means to me."

Is Christmas really open to our individual interpretation?

I mean the message seems pretty clear to me, and it is backed by prophesy going all the way to the fall of man and God's promise that one day Eve's heel would crush satan's head. ( Sorry, English majors, he doesn't get capitalized.) It isn't that I don't enjoy family, and cranberry sauce, lights and mistletoe, depending on who is standing directly underneath it, but as we are rushing about in a mad dash for that perfect gift, fighting over that space at the mall, and fussing at the person who had the nerve to sojourn down the same aisle at the same time as us, perhaps we do need to stop and take a deep breath and ponder our own interpretation of Christmas.

What images and words immediately come to our minds when we think of Christmas?

Lights
Presents
trees
food?

What about

stranded
pain
blood
tears?

Usually we don't hear those words in the latest Christmas jingle. But any woman who has given birth can tell you, they were very much a part of the Christmas equation. He came through water and blood, pain and anguish, and He left in water and blood, pain and anguish.
And when he did he left us with a very clear message and he gave us the interpretation.

Salvation
Hope
Deliverance




2 comments:

Christopher said...

thoughtful

voixd'ange said...

Thanks. I did go out a few days ago and heard carols, that made me feel somewhat better . . . The flip side is it is nice when you do hear music actually talking about Christ in a public place.