Joe Thorn: The American Christmas

Joe Thorn:

I hear from quite a few people that all of this amounts to us pretending to like each other for a few days of the year. That the smiles, acts of kindness, and all the holiday cheer is a superficial facade that is dishonest. But I disagree. I think it is less of a lie and more of the recognition that this is the way it is supposed to be. It is a yearning to be and experience what is right, what is best. It is a recognition of the imago dei, and seeing that, even in literature, is exciting. It resonates with fallen humanity.

Understanding this helps me to better connect with the culture redemptively. I do not feel the need to fight with the world about the true meaning of Christmas. Instead, I can find common ground from which we can talk, really talk, about Jesus. Sure, Christmas is about the best in humanity, the need to be compassionate, restorative, kind, generous, and selfless. The stories we tell at this time of year ought to be held up, because all of this, in one way or another, points to Jesus. Who else more perfectly demonstrates love for the poor, compassion on the broken, the forgiveness of sinners and redemption to all. Who has sacrificed more? Who has given more? Who has loved more? Who has shown us a better picture of all that we celebrate at this time of year? Who else can make the holiday hope of humanity’s restoration a reality?

Read the whole thing here (also now featured at Relevant Magazine).

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~ by Travis on December 17, 2006.

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