Sunday, December 02, 2007

A Case for Christmas 1 - revived post

I posted a series of posts last Christmas season and decided to make it an annual event as there are things here to make one think. To reject or accept as one wills. I will be posting them as we draw closer to Christmas. There are a few changes in the text that I have made this year.

Christmas is not my favourite time of year, because of various things. My childhood Christmases were not the wonderful magic that the media claims is our right. Rather my mother died on Christmas day when I was not quite five, and every following Christmas my father got blind drunk as he recalled the event.

Now mostly because Christmas is rammed down our throats by the media, from October on, and the exhortation to buy, buy, buy just puts me off. In fact it is only within the last few years that I have been able to put aside the anger and antagonism that would rise in me around mid November, and last until after the New Year, when I could put it all away for another year. Also there was a vague guilt, or at least there used to be, about not doing it right, not having the Rockwellian Christmas that I was expected to provide and therefore letting the family down.

I came across this book called "The Case for Christmas" by Lee Strobel last year and I am planning to revisit the posts I made from notes on the book in the next couple of weeks. This is as good a time as any to see what this man had to say about Christmas. Strobel has a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School, was the award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and has written a number of best selling books. Strobel, a skeptic and atheist, consults expert testimony as he seeks to ferret out the truth.

The book jacket says, and I quote exactly: Lots of people view it as a warm, vibrant season when decent people full of the Christmas spirit celebrate what's best about humanity. Yet when you consider the loneliness, sorrow, personal struggles, and broken relationships that haunt this brightest of holidays for so many people, and the consumerism that taints it, you have to wonder: If this is as good as it gets, what's the point?

Maybe there is a point and we've just been missing it. That child born in a cattle shed 2000 odd years ago - what if he really was the Christ of Christmas? If so then the holiday is hollow without him. Social reformer, philosopher, teacher, icon of a deluded religious sect; who was Jesus? If he really was the divine Son of God, as many believe then the evidence should stand up to scrutiny. It should, for instance, furnish convincing answers to the point blank questions of a Yale educated legal journalist. Lee Strobel in his book explores:

  1. The credibility and accuracy of Jesus' biographies.
  2. Whether archaeology disproves or corroborates the biblical records.
  3. Whether Jesus fits the profile of divinity.
  4. Jewish Messianic prophecy; did Jesus and Jesus alone fulfill it?
So if you are a regular visitor or not I hope you take time to follow my blog for a little while just to check out what I found out from reading the book.


Danielle B. Blogging for Balance said...

I'm not sure if I still have this book...I will have to search deep into my nightstand. BTW..I love your Christmas header...and I am deeply sorry and saddened that your mother died when you were so young. God Bless you.

Ruth said...

I am looking forward to reading more on your subject. I have chosen to work many Christmases at the hospital and realize how many people do not have a "Merry Christmas" in the sense the media portrays. There is more to share than tinsel and gifts. There has to be a deeper meaning somewhere.

thailandchani said...

I read that book some time ago, too. If I recall correctly, he wrote a few other books of the same nature.

Christmas truly doesn't mean a thing to me personally. I don't celebrate but I'm also beginning to learn that it is rather selfish to put others down for getting into it, for valuing it. I'm trying to make a more conscious effort to be more respectful toward those who celebrate without telling them all the many reasons those of us who don't find it cloying.

I think the only thing I'd ask is that it be honored that some people do have different cultural customs. The saturation is really troublesome.

Some Christians I know, truly spiritual people, have reclaimed Christmas ~ and it looks nothing like the media image. They use the holiday to honor and respect their deity.

Jeni said...

Although my family and I do observe certain little "traditions" if you will, that have developed over the years pertaining to Christmas, as long as I am able to ignore the crass commercialization of the holiday, I can rejoice in the beauty behind it. I've had man years in which I wasn't able to ignore some of those things and it made my celebration really poor because at times I felt that I wasn't doing all I should be doing for my kids, extended family. I'll be looking forward to reading your future posts on this book though.

Mrs. Miles said...

Thank you for sharing your heart about this. We do forget that while we celebrate, the very holiday/festive atmosphere could be salt in some peoples open wounds. May we all have compassion and think of others during this time. I love a balance of both.