Friday, 9 December 2016

Christmas - A few questions (Paper One)

I've been having some interesting conversations relating to Christmas and it's interesting how the older generation have, almost in total, told me that there's no place in the church building for a Christmas tree until we reach Christmas Eve. They did it in this setting:

And yes, there were a few Christmas trees around (in fact there were sixty trees in all) when they asked!

Their asking me questions has led me to ponder a number of things, each of them appearing here for you to join in and engage with along with me; for it seems that the way we treat Christmas might not be as joyful as perhaps the season might suggest. So here we go:

Tradition was that the tree didn't usually make it to the church building until something much nearer the end of Advent - some, like the lady I met tell me that Christmas Eve is indeed the right time - and this raises some real issues, for when we plonk Christmas trees in our church buildings the week before Advent, are we:

i.   Celebrating Christmas and fitting in with the community and their take on Christmas?

ii. Seeking to capitalise on the current attitudes regarding Christmas by make some money out of it 
    wheresoever we can?

iii. Trying to bring Christmas back into the church building and by so doing regain some Christian
      ownership of the whole shooting works?

There are three options here but I can think of other variants which might raise some eyebrows and challenge the way we do Christmas and more besides, but there's only so much you can do with a box of firelighters and some matches when you're sitting on a can of petrol, isn't there?

Whilst we are at it, are you one of those who subscribe to any of the three sentiments displayed below:

Are you someone who takes the opportunity each Christmas to correct those who are so obviously (in your opinion) wrong about what they say and how they celebrate it?

How do you deal with each of the three options above when you encounter them? Do you see the contraction of Christ into an 'X' as an abomination before the Lord?

Note: If you do then you'll be fighting a long line of people way back into the earliest days of the Christian Church for they loved that Christogram to bits and scribbled it, and fish, wherever and whenever the opportunity arose!

You may now turn over your papers :-)

There are a couple more questions but this will do for paper one.


1 comment:

Rob Crompton said...

As someone who grew up in a Christian (or quasi-Christian) religious group which resolutely denied and avoided Christmas, it took me a long time after my escape to learn to he happy over the holiday period. And as someone who has, since then traversed the spectrum of belief to the far-over liberal end, I am still happy at Christmas and get a real buzz when, as this morning in Leominster's Victorian Christmas market, I get caught up in the happy mood of celebration. Yes - Happy Holiday to everyone whether it's their own religious holy day or not.