Thursday, December 15, 2011

Advent Reflection #17

Yesterday I made a big dent in my Christmas preparation.  The tree is up and lighted; almost all the gifts are bought and wrapped (some need to be mailed), and some Christmas cards are ready.  My preparations will ot be full-blooded this year, but they are coming.

Christmas is a gentile holiday, but it is rooted in Jewishness.  We cannot understand the birth of Jesus without understanding Jewish customs culture.  Everything is about Israel, but for the world.  Jesus' parents are not revolutionaries; they do everything according to custom.  Custom and culture are not bad things, despite what some Christians think.  They are created indirectly by God, who set the boundaries of mankind's existence.  We only need to change custom when it directly violates Scripture, which I think is usually rare.  Some Christians look for every opportunity to buck culture, spending a lot of energy on activities that don't matter.  Fussing about Christmas is one of them.  Most Christmas customs are just plain fun, but a slavish obedience to them is foolish and tiring.

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