Although Jesus may be the Reason for the Season, strangely enough, Sundays that fall on Christmas day are almost always the exception to the cardinal rule of never skipping a service. Unlike some denominations who will actually have more church services to celebrate Christmas, somewhere between December 24th and 25th Christmas jumps in the fundy mind from being a strictly religious affair to being a “family time.” Don’t worry, you’ll more than make up for lost time during the Watchnight Preacher Boy Extravaganza.
There are many possible reasons for a fundy church to cancel their gatherings on Christmas day. For one thing, with so many people out of town and “out sick” for that service it could throw off the entire third quarter attendance averages. Not to mention that it’s a pretty serious blow to the managawd’s ego to waste an entire sermon full of brilliance on the six faithful people when he’s not even getting paid extra for working on a holiday.
And I say, good for them. A few minutes spent in the company of loved ones in what cheer can be had on a fundamentalist Christmas is probably more nourishing to the soul than a month of fundy Sundays.
If your family read the crucifixion story every year before opening your presents, you may have been a fundamentalist. For to a fundamentalist, the Incarnation is often seen as little more than the first step on the road to Calvary.Â For unto us a Son is given and his name shall be called Doomed, Condemned, Destined for Destruction. He was born to die.
But we do our Savior a great injustice if we give the season a tragic tone as if this Baby should be mourned as merely mortal. Consider too the years of his humanity as a child, his miracles, his compassion, his wisdom, his teachings of love for others, his laughter and tears and hunger and weariness experienced as a God who condescended to become a man and walk among us. He was born to Live.
And yes, he was betrayed and mocked and falsely accused and beaten and crucified…but the story doesn’t end there either! For of his own will he defeated death and rose from the grave, comforting his grieving friends with words of Everlasting Life. He was born to Live.
Remember the words of his promise that he will never leave us or forsake us and that he is that friend who is closer than a brother. After our years of struggle and pain are ended we too will live with him in an eternity where there will be no darkness or pain or dying ever again. In him we will finally be truly alive. He was born to Live.
Dear heart, if you want to remember the Reason for the Season as youÂ gather on Christmas Day this year, do not mourn as if Christ’s life was only given to be consumed in the tragedy of his death. Read insteadÂ these words…”Fear not; I am the first and the last:I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen.”
“Keep Christ in Christmas” isn’t just a spiritual command for fundamentalists, it’s a grammatical one as well. If you’ve ever heard a preach spend thirty minutes decrying the use of “Xmas” as a conspiracy by secular humanists to rob our nation of its Christian soul, then you might have been a fundamentalist. One speaker comes to mind who even suggested that if you lack enough space on your signs and cards that ChristX would be a more appropriate shorthand.
This particular foible is a favorite of mine because it demonstrates a perfect storm of ignorance and fear. Even a tiny bit of research would show that “X” has been used an abbreviation for “Christ” for almost five-hundred years without any disrespect intended. Â But that’s just not nearly as useful as a wild-eyed rant about how Christ is being denied a seat at His Â own birthday party.
I can only imagine how different things would be if fundies spent half the time trying to keep spirit of Christ in Christmas through acts of love and charity as they do fighting a non-existent battle to keep His name in the title of the holiday.
A silly blog dedicated to Independent Fundamental Baptists, their standards, their beliefs, and their craziness.