The Real Spirit of Christmas

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : December 7, 2004

Check out this column for an interesting take on the problem with Christmas.  Sydney Harris doesn’t argue against the consumerism of the holiday, but the spirituality!  Facinating take.  I would still argue that consumerism is a problem, but he adds, among other things, the following reminder:

It is easy to think Christmas, and easy to believe Christmas:
      but it is hard - sometimes intolerably hard - to act Christmas.
      It is not our false commercialism that prevents it, but our false
      spirituality. Not the clang of the cash register, but the jingle
      of bells , calling us to sentimentality, and seducing us from
      the grim, patient, year-round task of brotherhood.

He reminds me of what C.S. Lewis pointed out: that our problem when we sin isn’t that our passions are too strong, but too weak.  You see, the problem with Christians during Christmas isn’t that we are too damn greedy or that we love comercialism so much.  Its that we are weak in our passion for the incarnate deity. 

for further reading . . .

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2 Responses to “The Real Spirit of Christmas”

  1. Chris on December 8th, 2004 12:49 pm

    I like the quote “seducing us from the grim, patient, year-round task of brotherhood.” While I wouldn’t call the task of brotherhood “grim,” I do agree that the worst thing about Christmas is that all of the goodwill toward men and good tidings of comfort and joy we bear toward one another are just a sad reminder of how tepid and weak our love is for each other the rest of the year.

  2. A Student on December 13th, 2004 4:33 pm

    Kewl column. I liked it’s perspective so much I posted it as well. I like your blog, keep it up.

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