AmeriCAN-DO Attitude

Are you an AmeriCAN or an AmeriCAN'T?

The Dark Side of Christmas

Via Amy Wellborn: A Sword Will Pierce Your Heart

An excerpt:

We might forget, we might wrap up Christmas in good cheer, but Christian tradition doesn’t. It’s striking that the next day — the very next day — after Christmas, the Church remembers not glad tidings, angels, and shepherd boys, but a bloody death by stoning. St. Stephen it is, the first Christian martyr.

St. Stephen is followed by St. John on December 27th, who may not have met a violent death, but who, the tradition tells us, died in a prison of sorts, in exile for his faith, far away from the “civilized” powers that had sent him there.

December 28th brings us back to babies, but with no relief — it is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, remembering the children Herod ordered slaughtered, according to Matthew’s gospel, in his rabid fear of the rival king.

The message is clear and hard: Following this baby, as he reaches to us from the resin manger, looking out at us with the soft-eyed cattle and docile sheep, comes at a price.

There is an edge to Christmas, a harshness, and a different kind of promise than that implied by the easy words of peace and glad tidings. It is a mystery, all of it. The Word made flesh indeed, but into a world that was from the beginning set against it, that sought with every bit of strength at hand to stay in the darkness.

Advertisements

December 24, 2009 , 11:29PM - Posted by | Christianity, Christmas

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: