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Showing posts from December 4, 2009

Joyful Anticipation of Christmas

Two years ago, I ran across a column written by the Episcopal priest and columnist Tom Ehrich, having to do with Advent and Christmas. He wrote, in part: Along about now, pulpits and church newsletters bristle with [complaining] about the culture's theft of Christmas. Targets include the so-called "commercialization of Christmas," manic spending but hesitant pledging, bustling malls but empty pews, spotlights on Santa Claus but not on Jesus, and cultural shifts that we see as "taking Christ out of Christmas." We'll even gripe about the people who finally do show up en masse on Christmas Eve and criticize them for not being there every Sunday… This annual [complaining] is a perfect expression of why many churches dwindle to irrelevance. This is "provider-driven" religion: blaming people for not wanting what we provide… If people are hungry for food, why would we give them [empty] ritual? If people are hungry for meaning, why would we give them tradi