Christmas, what should I say about Christmas? I could go on, I suppose, about the various different family rituals that we have, such as the years of waking up early – or being woken up early by younger siblings – to open stockings with mini-treats on our parent’s bed before going to church and other little patterns and routines that have shaped our celebrations all my life. Or I imagine I could probably write a relatively scathing attack on the commercialisation of Christmas, but I imagine it would also be sensible to acknowledge that the 25th of December historically has been a day which other people with different beliefs have celebrated things. Then again, I could write something a bit different; be a tad ‘controversial’ and regurgitate the old discussions about whether or not Jesus was actually born on the 25th or if that may have happened some point in the summer instead. Oh, and don’t forget the astronomical speculations about which star or super nova it might have been that shone so bright on that first Christmas morn (this, of course, would require a brief refutation or simple dismissal of astrology; even if the wise men may have used it). But each of these issues could seem too trivial. Perhaps as a theology graduate it would make sense for me to follow and examine the different historical quests and to demythologise the stable, to peer behind the legend of the angels and to sort out once and for all whether or not there was a census taken and if there was (or wasn’t) then which emperor requested it (or didn’t, as the case may be). Maybe a better theological theme would be to discuss, as a protestant, the issue of Mariology. Should I question the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin birth? Should I follow Edward Irving and argue that Jesus took on sinful human nature? Perhaps the greatest (though incomplete) theological summa by Aquinas could provide some wisdom for me to blog about? What about the works of Augustine, Irenaeus, Calvin, Luther, Schleiermacher, Barth, Muhammad, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., Pope Francis, the Pope Emeritus, Justin Welby, Mark Driscoll, Rob Bell or even Richard Dawkins? Surely some of what these people, and many others, have said would be helpful for an Advent Blog? Maybe it would be appropriate to look beyond Christmas to Easter and to talk in different ways about the Gospel and the forgiveness of Sins? Then again, maybe we’re being presumptuous that Advent = Christmas? Should I talk instead about Eschatology and the hope of waiting for the second parousia of Christ, drawing on Moltmann as a muse and waxing lyrical about the new creation?
For all the different facets that Christmas has, secular and commercialised, religious and ‘theological’, there’s only one message that’s worth talking about.
That in the cries of the Baby Jesus at Christmas, we hear the Lord Almighty saying to the World:
“Here I AM!”
This blog was first published by the Love_Theology campaign’s Advent Blog, Day 8; do check the rest of their Advent series out at http://lovetheology.wordpress.com/