Monday, December 24, 2012

"Merry Christ Mass!" or The Scandal of Christmas

On this, the Vigil of Christmas, Let me wish all of you a very blessed Christmas, or "Χmas" if you prefer to practice your Greek!.

I was reading through some comments on Facebook when I ran across this little gem. It's an exposition on the meaning of "Merry Christmas" from one of those groups that believes Christmas is a pagan holiday. It tells all about how the Eeeeeevil Catholics have tricked millions of "so-called 'Christians'" [sic] into blaspheming by being happy about the "pain, bleeding, suffering and death of Christ."

I can't wait to hear his exposition on "Good Friday."

Setting aside his misunderstanding of the theology of the Mass, he is still right to be shocked. On the very day which we celebrate Our Lord's wondrous incarnation, we call to mind His death.

We celebrate the birth of Christ with a Mass, wherein we are united by the sacrifice of the Mass with the sacrifice of Our Lord, hanging on the Cross.

The scandal is this: to ransom a slave, God the Father gave us His only Son. He was born to die for our sins, a spotless, unblemished, sacrificial lamb.

To have a Merry Christmas is to celebrate that Our Lord chose to humble himself that He might die for us as one of us. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world (Galatians 6:14).

So let us indeed Glory in the Cross which is the scandal of Christmas. Let us praise God, and give thanks that, knowing the pain He was to endure, Our Lord still loved us so much to take our form, to take the form of a slave, to come be our Emmanuel and rescue us.

What child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping,
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The babe, the son of Mary!

Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear: for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce him through,
The Cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word Made Flesh,
The babe, the son of Mary!

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
Come, peasant, king, to own Him!
The King of Kings salvation brings;
Let loving hearts enthrone Him!
Raise, raise the song on high!
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy! joy! for Christ is born,
The babe, the son of Mary!

Merry Christmas!

2 comments:

  1. Naw, Christmas (the date and many symbols) was actually an attempt to give pagans something alternate to celebrate on their holidays. The telling of Jesus birth usually has a bunch of inaccuracies, but you are sooo right in pointing out that God humbled himself, becoming as a servant even onto death that we, slaves to sin, might be free.

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  2. That was definitely a part of it.

    "Hey pagans, you know that Sol Invictus holiday, conquering sun? Well we've got a conquering Son!" Et cetera, et cetera.

    Huzzah for baptizing times and seasons :)

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