Sunday, November 27, 2016

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Darkest Night of the Year

There are plenty of people around who will be happy to tell you the celebration of Christmas is a farce, rooted in pagan rituals and bedecked with all sorts of trappings of non-Christian customs; Christmas tree, evergreen wreaths, Santa Claus.
FYI, the Christmas tree custom is said to have been derived from pagan tree worship. I wasn't surprised to learn this because ever since I was a little tyke, I have felt an irresistible urge to genuflect every time I passed the lighted tree.
The evergreen wreaths and boughs have a similar origin, and Santa Claus, well, now he's something else altogether.
Old Saint Nick, we call him.
Well, of course you know that "Old Nick" is another name for Satan.
There you go.
Christmas is a big tree-hugging orgy culminating in a midnight visit from the devil himself, who breaks character by giving things rather than taking them and inexplicably drops down the chimney instead of rising from the frozen ninth circle of hell.
(Wait, the frozen ninth circle . . . . cold, North Pole, I've found another connection! And you have the striking, eerie similarity between "ninth" and "north." In fact, you only need interchange two letters to reach the same spelling.)
And the crowning glory of the 25th of December haters is the very date itself.
December 21st marks the winter solstice, a day that has held such significance for so many non-Christian cultures that I couldn't possibly name all the different rites and feasts. Essentially, it has to do with Dec. 21 or 22 being the shortest day of the year, and the turning point for lengthening days. Stonehenge, Sun gods and some ancient Greek festival dubbed "Festival of the Wild Women," all figure in, among many, many other pagan icons.
So, I say, what a glorious wonderful day to celebrate the earth-bound birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior.
In the midst of all the secular and even satanic ritualistic high days, December 25th sets a holy fire burning, raining light down like a certain mysterious "conjunction of planets" over 2000 years ago.
Beset like the oppressed Jews under Roman rule, we struggle here in the darkest night, the longest eclipse we can remember, longing for the coming of our Redeemer.
And in the middle of the darkness a spark is struck, and suddenly, the darkness is only a foil for that beautiful, blinding fire that grows and pulsates and will one day consume the whole new earth with it's brilliance.
"-and I'll keep my Christmas humor to the last." said nephew Fred "So, a Merry Christmas, Uncle!"
"Good afternoon!" said Scrooge.
"And a Happy New Year!"

The Things Which Are Not

Darkness, because daylight hides the unknown.
The moon, because the sun cannot be looked upon.
The worst, because the best is yet a lie.
The sigh, because the song will end.
Violence, because peace is fragile.
Savagery, because civilization is the refuge of cowards.
Chaos, because order is a prison.
The unspoken, because words have spaces in between.
Broken, because perfection is an illusion.
The awake, because the dreaming must awaken and the awake must soon fall asleep.
The present, because the past and the future are non-existent.
The mystery, because the obvious is treacherous.
The lament, because the ode must never hit a false note.
Death, because life slips away.

For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together

There was a Christmas special run on Focus on the Family years ago called The Innkeepers Dream. It was about a gregarious, humorous devout innkeeper swamped during the census. The entire play is a monologue. It is Ahkim, the innkeeper, telling his friend Julius about the most magnificent dream. He dreamed he'd been patronized by a young couple named Joseph and Mary in town for the census. He also dreamed that later that night, he went up into the hills to deliver some food to his brother in law who was a sheperd. There were angels. And the angels told them that Messiah was born and lying in a manger in a stable. The innkeeper was dumbstruck when his was the inn and the stable to which they were directed. He was deliriously happy when Joseph told him that he could hold Messiah. But first he wanted to go in the inn to bring out more blankets and fresh water. That was when, he told his friend, the dream ended. Then, he saw a pitcher of water and fresh blankets sitting by the door, waiting to be delivered to the stable. Manheim Steamrollers beautiful version of Silent Night plays as the dawning realization steals over him that the most stunningly incredible dream he has ever had, that anyone has EVER had, has come true. 
Imagine that.

I'm not what you'd call your average optimist. I have a saying, It's always darkest when you have your head stuck in the sand. Meaning, don't pretend. Sometimes things are horrible. And I've also never been a big fan of the Well, it could be worse, look at THAT poor guy bandaid. For one thing, if I say that about THAT guy, and he says it about someone else, SOMEWHERE down the line, there's gonna be some poor soul who says Well, yeah, it's bad, but at least-- and then he looks around to find he's the last one in line. Then guess what? His only comfort, his ONLY solace is Christ.
And what a solace! It's as if things were really as bad as they could ever get. And they were, for all of us. Because of the gulf fixed between us by sin, we were bound for a fate more horrifying and despairing than any nightmare.
And then, a plot twist. And now, our wildest dreams cannot account for the glory to be revealed in us.

There is so much expectation these days, perhaps more than ever, of the return of Christ. And it does indeed seem that conditions have never been more favorable. Seems like the perfect storm. But, you know what, if He doesn't return for another million years, it DOESN'T MATTER!!
WAKE UP!! Your dream has come true. 

No comments:

Post a Comment