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Wednesday, December 28, 2011


      A few weeks ago I blogged about Christmas. My thesis was that Ebenezer Scrooge had a valid point when he spoke to his nephew of his disdain for Christmas. I spoke out complaining about the rampant commercialism that has come to represent the way Christmas is celebrated in modern times. In response I became founder and president of the E.S.A.S. (Ebenezer Scrooge Admiration Society) I have an official coffee mug.

     On Christmas Eve SWMBO and I attended a worship service at the church building from 11:30 pm, Christmas Eve, to 12:45 am, Christmas Day. I was struck by the simple faith and devotion my fellow congregants displayed on this most holy night. 
     My thoughts soon centered upon our God. It occurred to me that when you look around at the vastness of the universe with its many galaxies strewn across the cosmos you cannot help but awe. I thought that when you consider the precise complexity of the simple cell you cannot help but be impressed by the design and the Designer. I further thought that when you consider that time was created by that same Designer, you cannot help but admire and be humbled by the mind that conceived of the idea.
     When I reflected upon the God who created all that had been created, I was awestruck by the idea that He would enter time in the form of a human child and live a life as one of His created ones. It was like an artist entering into one of their paintings or perhaps a movie maker entering into one of their films and becoming one of the characters. Amazing stuff!
     I am further awestruck at the concept that such a infinitely powerful God would care a whit about human beings, much less experience life as one.
     Even more stunning to me is that this God desires a relationship with us humans. He doesn't force His affections upon us. He gives us the option of freely choosing to respond to His love or to reject it.
     That is what I believe Christmas should be all about! Our God was born to a virgin and her carpenter husband. He lived a perfectly sinless life and was nailed to a Roman cross to die for our sins because He loves us. That is what Christmas is all about! 
     Therefore, despite the fact that it is a good thing to give and receive gifts at Christmas time, that should not be the primary focus of the day.
      In conclusion, I think that Christmas is an amazing holiday for what it says about God and the love of God. I believe that is what should be emphasized and celebrated!

Friday, December 9, 2011


"If I could work my will, every idiot that walked around with Merry Christmas on his lips
 should be boiled in his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart"
Ebenezer Scrooge from "A Christmas Carol"

     People who do not possess any Christmas spirit are often referred to as being a "Scrooge." In his story, A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens has his main character venting his spleen about Christmas. Scrooge is visited by his nephew, Fred, and during that visit Scrooge questions the propriety of the way Christmas is observed. Scrooge see's Christmas as a vulgar, commercial holiday, where people spend money they can ill afford, to purchase things that they don't need. Dickens describes Scrooge's motives as being due to avarice, bitterness and a general disdain for enjoying the blessings that life has to offer. 
     I believe that Dickens, through Scrooge, has a valid point. As I write this, Christmas is some sixteen days away. I generally don't get the Christmas spirit until sometime between December 10th to December 15th. I am the founder and president of the E.S.A.S. (Ebenezer Scrooge Admiration Society.) We even have an official coffee mug...

The Official Mug of the E.S.A.S.
     Christmas was originally a holy day set aside to celebrate the God of the Bible becoming human through the birth of the Christ Child. It is this Child who was destined to redeem man from sin. On the day of His birth, an angel appeared to some shepherds watching their sheep in a field and announced the birth proclaiming "Behold I bring tidings of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ, the Lord....Glory to God in the highest and Peace to men upon whom His favor rests." On this holy day the promised Messiah was born. The liberation of man from the oppression of sin was imminent. In a few short decades, the Lamb of God would take away the sins of the world by sacrificing Himself on a Roman cross. That is what Christmas is supposed to be about, in my humble opinion.
     Now, it is not politically correct to wish someone "Merry Christmas" for fear of causing offense. Now, schoolchildren may not sing Christmas Carols in schools anymore for fear of causing a lawsuit to be brought against the school for violating the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Now, displaying Nativity Scenes on public property is forbidden for much the same reason.
     Christmas merchandise in stores is put out on display earlier and earlier every year. This year some stores, for the first time, opened their doors with special sales on Thanksgiving day to give people a head start on Christmas shopping.
     It seems to me that as the years pass us by, Christmas becomes more about the commercial aspects of the season and less about the "Reason for the Season!"
      Therefore, I respectfully submit to you that Ebenezer Scrooge has a valid point to make, notwithstanding his personal motives in making it. So, at least for a few more days, I raise my coffee mug in toast and loudly proclaim the motto of the E.S.A.S...."Christmas...Bah! Humbug!"