Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Repenting Scrooge, Larry Norman and Christmas Time

I used to be something of a Scrooge at Christmas time. Through the years I have lightened up and come to realize that I don't have to protest all of the cultural extravagance and decadence that take place in the name of this holiday in order to be faithful to Christ. Our Lord was born and, though the Bible nowhere instructs us to commemorate His birth, it is worth celebrating. We acknowledge the births of mere mortals who have influenced the world, what is wrong with publicly acknowledging the birth of our King? Absolutely nothing.

I have no controversy with my fellow believers who do not wish to celebrate the holiday while fully rejoicing in the miracle of the incarnation. "He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it" (Romans 14:6). I hope that they will extend the same consideration to me and others who will celebrate with friends and family in a couple of days.

Christmas has become an increasingly joyful time of year to me as my children have grown older. This year that is especially so as we prepare to say good-bye to our eldest for a couple of years. We are trying to squeeze every moment out of the days we have left together before her departure. Fortunately, we decided a while back to forgo the normal gift giving amongst ourselves this year and to use the money saved to bless others. Not only has that given us the joy of freely giving, it has also spared us from the typical stresses of Christmas shopping. For us, this has proven to be a great gift from the Lord.

Though I no longer fit the "Scrooge" category, I still find a twinge of counter-culture rising in me when December rolls around. In acknowledgment of that, I offer this song by the late Larry Norman. It is no longer my favorite "Christmas Carol" (for which my wife and children are grateful!) but I still listen to it a time or two each year. Enjoy! ;-)

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