You might have heard: The revolutionary good news that landed ashore Planet Earth that first Christmas morn "confronts cults of faith, secularism, religion, and politics." I have written about that here. By way of introduction, consider these four passages to provide an overview of the "elements of a 'Merry Christmas!'":
1. Good-Bye Stereotypes: "First, in contrast to pagan, religious, media, and secular stereotypes, Christmas is about real people living and working in a real world. The inaugurating events of Christmas occur in and around Bethlehem of Judea. They concern watchful shepherds, pregnant women, and surprised husbands. All are flesh-and-blood people. All are individuals who think, act, wonder, emote, and make choices in situations of life that are less than ideal. . . ."
2. Escape From "Warm Fuzzies": "But humans today are increasingly asked to live in a fragmented world of image, feeling, and PR. A candidate for president of the United States can tell Americans that Christmas is the season of miracles, but what about the rest of the year? Is God alive December 25, but dead by January 1, not able to survive the party? In contrast to warm fuzzies delivered by admakers, politicians, and ministry machines, the Christmas of history is about the objectivity and unity of truth in the midst of tremendous challenge. . . ."
3. Hemingway Avenue: "The third element of Luke 2:20 specifies that Christmas is about the visual and aural validation of answers from God. Rather than a religious truth or spiritual technique that escapes the world, Christmas lives down the street. It is alive to the real world and is one of those things that can be “heard and seen.” Hemingway, who grew to hate generalities but love discrete facts, could have given the manger scene an address in one of his novels. . . ."
4. Test Everything: "Christmas is about enfleshed truth that is accountable, a body of information and series of events that can be rationally considered, verified out in the external world, and discussed among regular people as facts of life. Among the facts are Bethlehem, Mary, Joseph, a baby, and a manger, none of which are feelings. The facts also include the angels and the veracity of what they said to human beings, for what the shepherds saw and heard in Bethlehem was 'as it had been told them,' the fourth element from Luke 2:20 under consideration here. . . ."
We thank you all, dear readers of The Pearcey Report, for visiting us throughout the year. To all of you and yours: Best wishes, thoughts, and prayers for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!