Friday, 17 December 2010

Reviving the true Christmas spirit

There is a noticeable lack of "Christmas spirit" this Christmas, in spite of ample snow and England appearing almost exactly as in traditional Christmas cards. Happily, Christians in such a climate have secret "fuel" like brandy to warm the cockles of their heart and to revitalise the parts which other medicines cannot reach.

The reasons are complex. There are dark forces at large opposed to Christianity and the good news of the Saviour. Others derive from fear, a sense of being on a ship that is becalmed and in the path of a storm. Then there is the sheer battle with chaos, caused by snow in England.

Personally, I do not share the unspoken grief or shock of others about the idols of this age having not merely failed to deliver security, but having stranded some people "high and dry", like fish flapping on the shore before a tsunami - as if the tide suddenly went out and has not yet returned. Most people are wondering whether the sea will return as a double dip recession and if so, for those wandering on the beach, where is their refuge?

There is also the impact of political correctness aimed at trying to prevent us celebrating Christmas which focuses on the love, blessings and deliverances of God. Then, there is the lack of street decorations (as a saving), and lack of funds even to buy family Christmas presents which for some, who have been loyal in their gifts all their life, comes to the heart, like a cold sword.

But underneath this, there is something more insidious in England which comes from the Enemy of all that is good. It is the intentional crushing of generous spirits, of the Christmas spirit, mediated through the enemies of the Baby in the manger. This is a deeper vein in our current society, this crushing of the offerings of benevolence, goodwill and positivity. Those without true blessing are satisfied only when all warmth has cooled, due to their repeated rebuff of generosity, and when the concept of "family", even their own, has completely died.

Christmasless people think that the world is theirs when all warmth and feeling, which opposes power, has died. They little understand that in destroying "Christmas" in others, ultimately they destroy it in themselves and in society. "Bah! Humbug!", they says about Christmas, blast Tiny Tim and all generosity, while piling up the moth-eaten wealth. But let them taste its joyless, bitter fruits without glad greetings and cheer, for no one enjoys "the Narnian winter" - always winter and never Christmas.....

That is why those with real "Christmas spirit" must gird up their loins and like the repentant Ebenezer Scrooge venture out into the snow, to reach out to their perishing neighbours with good news, metaphorical brandy, mulled wine and plum pudding - to work to reverse this "curse".

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