This isn't exactly a comic Monday, just something that has been tickling my brain lately. It occurred to me that Christmas doesn't hold up to the light very well. During the day you plainly see the DNR yard inflatables laying slain in people's front yards, the wires and extension cords of Christmas lights clearly running through trees, and stakes and ropes holding fake reindeer to the ground.
At night it is quite beautiful however - even magical. All the mechanics disappear and only the pretty aspects shine through.
The religious aspect is exactly the opposite. It seems silly and gaudy to those "in the dark" if you will allow me the use of that phrase for the sake of analogy, but in the Light, it is beautiful, inspiring, and healing.
All that being said, if you are going to dump Christ out of Christmas (Christ's Mass Day,) it seems to me we could come up something a little better. Christmas without Christ is just senseless gong banging, bother, and bad music.
It certainly in does not conform to our evolving popular culture, which tries to scrape all of the icing off of the Christian holiday while throwing out the cake. Unfortunately the icing doesn't make sense without the cake - all the flowers, writing, and decoration just turn into a colorful menagerie.
The Church has been accused of taking a pagan holiday and "baptizing" it into the celebration of the birth of our Savior. It was a natural progression of belief to something higher. There was an idea in paganism that grew to its limit and needed to be transformed into the thing toward which it was pointing. It blossomed into a belief in the One True God Who would be the Savior of the World (otherwise Christianity would never have taken off.) Now our Western culture, ever on the lookout for the new and sheik, wants to back out of this development by gutting out of it that which gave it meaning in the first place.
Now, I know those who are on this path do not see it this way in much the same way as I don't see faith in the same way that such persons might suppose Christians must think. But it seems to me that I am on a much surer path. Culturally it seems that we are trying to remove the deepest meaning of everything in order to bring equality to all - holidays, the meaning of marriage, the humanity of persons in the womb just to name a few. It seems to me, however, that the less dignity and worth and awe and belief we have in something greater and more beautiful and truer than ourselves we have, the less we value anything outside of ourselves, and our wants and desires.
But there is reason for hope here. This is the EXACT culture in which the faith first took root. The faith began in a culture of sexual excess and confusion, abortion, war, power hungry politicians, capitol punishment, neglect of the poor and ill and persecution of those who called themselves Christian. But the faith still grew and rose until even the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire felt he needed to become Christian in order to hold his power. All that was needed - and all that is needed - is for individual men and women to boldly live their faith well. So Happy Advent!