Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

On the Christ Child

This is the season in which we celebrate the birth of the greatest revolutionary who ever lived, even though the actual birth probably occurred in April or June--Any time except December 25.

A bit of trivia: December 25 was selected as the birthdate of Jesus by Dionysus Exiguus (translated into modern English as Dennis the Short, who also calculated which year was the Year One. He was off by about 4-6 years, but out of the 2006 years since, how important is that?) who wanted to counter the Roman Saturnalia and other pagan holidays around the winter solstice. So he decided to put Christmas exactly eight days before January 1, so while pagans were celebrating on that day they would actually be celebrating the Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord. Happy New Year.

Back to the point at hand. The "sweet little Jesus boy" that we celebrate this season grew up to turn the world upside down. This is the man who said to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Radical things to say to people who were trying to survive under an occupying army. He had more to say, according to the Gospel writers, about money and against the rich for exploiting the poor than about any other subject. He made it clear in his preaching that God sides with the poor against the rich. He told his followers to be humble, but crafty ("Be innocent as doves and wise as serpents.") and to reject the values of the popular culture which glorified wealth and despised the poor.

In modern America, we glorify wealth and lavish more tax cuts on the wealthy while disdaining the poor and needy, cutting off housing aid to Katrina victims. We lay off American workers and load up our Wal-Mart carts with cheap junk made by slave labor and child labor in China. Then we give this stuff to our loved ones in celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Irony, anyone?


Post a Comment

<< Home