This Holy Tide of Christmas

Now to the Lord sing praises, all you within this place,

And with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace,

This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface.

I disagree. This holy tide of Christmas doth not all others deface.

I’m afraid I may upset the very foundations of Western civilization when I say this, but as a Christian, I think of Christmas as a relatively unimportant day. It’s thoroughly negotiable. If some future government outlaws all public expressions or celebrations of Christmas, it would not affect my faith at all. Not at all. I will not enlist a soldier defending cultural turf in the “War On Christmas.” I don’t feel the need to put Christ back in Christmas. Someone illegitimately pasted Him onto a pre-existing winter celebration anyway.

Yes, the Incarnation is important. But is it more important than, say, Christ’s Ascension, which the evangelical world barely acknowledges? The Ascension means the giving of the Holy Spirit, and the installation of Christ as the supreme authority over the heavenly realms. That is big news. That has direct, meaningful impact on my life today as a Christian. That’s worth a month of preparation, decoration, and caroling.

John and Mark didn’t think the birth story important enough to include in their Gospels.

Nevertheless, I shall participate, if for nothing more than to sing the great Charles Wesley hymn “Hark The Herald Angels Sing.” I’ll don the gay apparel. Pass the wassail.

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