Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him!
by Pamela Christian
People of all faiths, and those who claim to have none, have adopted the traditions of Christmas. Christmas in America has been relegated to a family holiday centered around meaningless festivities, bountiful feasts and other self-indulgences. With reflection on the real-life benevolent known as St. Nicholas, gifts are given this particular time of year in an effort to express generosity and caring. With Christmas increasingly becoming a secular festival, anyone can partake of its self-gratifying excesses.
A search for Christmas images turns up hundreds of photos of Santa Claus, snowmen, Rudolph, elves, the Grinch and more. with only two images of the nativity, when scrolling down the samplings. Try it yourself to see. All these “symbols of Christmas” are designed to replace the true meaning of Christmas and in the process replace Christ.
While some Christians bemoan the pagan origins of many of the Christian customs, as a Christian, I am more concerned with the digression of the pure awe and wonder that should characterize this holy day.
Glenn Packaim, an ordained Anglican Priest, wrote:
When I meet with people, I hear about the busyness of life, the chaos of managing schedules and expectations that come cascading in from all sides. There is a mournful nostalgia in their eyes and a wistfulness in their voice as they recall the moments of wonder that once graced their lives. The truth is, I know this feeling well because it’s not just in the people I meet with; it’s in my own heart. Where has the wonder gone? Have we forgotten how to stand in awe?
Even the word awesome has become commonplace in our language greatly minimizing the true meaning of what it is to truly be in awe. Think back: when was the last time you experienced overwhelming awe? Have we closed ourselves off from the wonders of our existence, preferring instead a world of our own making? Can anything that we create truly satisfy or is there an intrinsic desire to discover something or someone greater than ourselves?
It is particularly interesting that we are living in a time where people are earnestly seeking self-actualization—the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone. Additionally, people today are keenly intent on making a difference in this world—doing or being a part of something that betters life as we know it. I assert that the desired solutions can be found in the real Christmas…
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