Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas: Day 2

A short note in response to Chelle G's comment before I begin my post: I love my brothers and sisters in the CoC, but that is exactly why I will never join the CoC. In many circumstances, the abscense of something is taken as a command to not do it. That doesn't work when applied broadly. If we go the next step on the command to read Scripture, we should never read any book but the Bible because it is commanded, but the Bible Itself never mentions reading other books (other than the Annuls of the Kings of Israel and Judah). The CoC might be your preferred place for some of you, and that's fine. I don't have a problem with people fellowshipping under their banner or doctrine. I just don't buy that argument for anything. I have no desire to continue to debate, but I wanted to dignify a well constructed comment with a response. Now, onto Christmas:

The song of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is really of unknown origin. Some say it was developed by the Catholics during the era of the Oliver Cromwell/Puritan take over of the British government. They were in power for like twelve or thirteen years, and they were dark years to be Catholic in England. But, what the parts of the song are said to stand for were non-factors between Catholics and Protestants: Partridge in a Pear Tree, Jesus; Two Turtle Doves, the Old and New Testaments; Three French Hens, Faith, Hope, and Love; Twelve Drummers Drumming, the twelve points of the Apostles Creed. It makes a nice Christmas thought, though. Christmas was actually altogether banned during the Puritan reign of England, so that kinda makes it unlikely (please note that I did not say that it didn't happen during this time, as we really just don't know). That was actually the reason the government got overthrown. The British wanted their Christmas back. The Puritans banned it because it was closely associated with pagan ritual and culture there. But, wasn't it that way everywhere anyhow? Going back to its inception, it was associated with the pagan Roman festival of Saturnalia. You find the same just about everywhere Christmas is.

I like the Catholic attitude that started this whole Christmas thing, though. "Let's combat immoral and ungodly fun with genuine fun centered around our fellowship in Christ!" You have to admit, we Protestants tend to be like, "No! You just don't do that!" without offering some sort of genuine/godly alternative that has any appeal. I think it comes off as giving God the appearance of a cosmic killjoy. We need to remember that our fellowship in Jesus can bring about fun, and I think that the Christmas season is a very pleasant reminder of that.

Merry Christmas


Niki said...

Well said!
Happy Anniversary to you and Jen!;)

Looney Mom said...

Yes sirree! I have nothing to add. Just letting you know that I'm reading (read yesterday's too).

michelle g said...

Well, we can agree to disagree. That is fine. I like that you have thought about my comment, and that you take the time to really respond. Most people would rather argue. I would rather argue, because it is fun!

I celebrate Christmas as a national day off of work, and a time to give presents. I don't really think of it as Christ's birthday. I guess that comes from Dad saying that having a tree in the house would be a sin for him, (note the Jews were told not to bring cut trees into the house, and definitely don't decorate them once you do) and Mom refusing to let us kids be outcasts at school for not having presents.

My Dad (conservative lifer in the CofC) asked me, on my wedding day!, what I would choose to do about Christmas. I said the only thing that came to mind. "As the new head of my household, I guess that would be up to Jeff." Dad never brought it up again. I don't know if the answer impressed him, or angered him. I think it was a combination, because it stopped him for a minute.

I do like knowing the bits of history you have found about Christmas. I think it important to know where your beliefs come from.