I don't know what happened. Maybe my "heart grew three sizes." Maybe the brainwashing finally kicked in. But the other day, as I was driving from here to there, doing minister stuff: visiting, going to the "dollar store" to buy supplies for the children's story, Tim's for a double-double … I found myself sick and tired of the "blah, blah, blah" of CBC, and CFRA and CHRI, so I turned it to MAJIC 100. And was blasted by Bruno Mars hollering about how "uptown funk gonna give it to you."
"Wait," I said to myself. "Wait. Wait. Wait. Where's the Christmas music?"
That's right; I wanted Christmas music and none could be found. It's late November (as I write this) and there's no ALL DAY 24 HOURS JINGLE BELLS BY 1D. I'm begging to hear "Last Christmas I gave you my heart….", or even (I'm dying a little inside as I think this) Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time."
You see, I've had enough of this year. I've had enough of presidents and prime ministers who promise this and do that. I've had enough of governor generals making fun of me because I believe in something that's irrational (GOD!).
I'm tired of men who harass women because they think they can get away with it. I'm tired of blaming Canadian people who have been abused by an education system that tried to kill their indigenous spirit. I'm tired of social media that doesn't bring teenagers together but instead isolates them, and makes them feel that they have to stay tuned in 24-7.
So, I want all the weird, crazy, mixed-up signs and symbols of the Christmas spirit: I want Griswold Family Christmas lights! I want hot cocoa and candy canes. I want "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" or "Blessed Hanukkah" or "Festive Kwanza" shouted by neighbours to neighbours. I want gangs of kids chanting "Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg." And I want gaggles of teens flopping down and making snow angels. I want It's A Wonderful Life on WNPE-WNPI (PBS), complete with the pitch to help keep this station on the air.
You see, because I'm a Christian, I get all this stuff. I get into it. It doesn't make me mad. I don't get all huffy over the consumerization of Christmas. It's all symbolic to me. It points beyond what it looks like to what it truly is.
And if you don't know what I'm talking about, why don't you find a church this Christmas Eve and plunk yourself down on a pew; you'll get it. Maybe not while we sing "Silent Night" off key, or the sermon makes you sleepier than you have any right to be. But sometime, maybe after all the presents have been opened, the dishes washed and put away, and you stand in front of your tree in the silence of the moment: the kids are asleep, relatives are quietly talking and cuddling, and you'll find that He is the reason for the season.
So, hurry up radio stations. And neighbours, c'mon, get your lights up. I want ugly Christmas sweaters and Santa hats. Christmas is coming. We need some light in this dark world.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1: 1-5).