Well, over the “Christmas season” did anyone include the story of all of the children being slaughtered in Bethlehem? If not, why not? Why is this part of the Christmas story not as much a part of the Christmas story as everything else?
Can I suggest one reason we don’t include the slaughter of every baby in Bethlehem? It is because of the sentimentality associated with the season. Much like Easter, we want to emphasize the positive aspects of the gospel (if we include the gospel at all) and leave out the fact of, well, sin. He came to die for our sins.
People are more thrilled with presents under the tree and a white Christmas than that the sin that engulfs them has separated them from the very God who became man.
May I suggest that next year the color red remind us of the slaughter of all of the babies in Bethlehem 2000 years ago and of course, the blood of Jesus that cleanses from sin. Of course, the slaughter of babies doesn’t jell with the sentimentalism that is demanded once every 12 months. Neither does the demand of the Lord to forsake family for Him.
I am against sentimentalism for the sake of sentimentalism, but not against celebrating the incarnation. It’s something I do year round. In fact, almost daily I suppose.
But frankly, the sentimentality and all of the gushy emotions kind of nauseate me. Especially when I am tempted to get caught up in it myself. Can I suggest the need for a bit of self-examination? Perhaps this love of the sentimental is simply an attempt to make up for a lack of true feeling for God year round? Perhaps the tiny bit of passion one has for Christ needs seasons of sentimentality to bring out the truth that sentimentality is all that is involved in this relationship. Kind of like the dude who tattoos a girls name on his arm as if he could express his love and all that he is prepared to do for her by that mere act. This usually precedes the total abandonment of the forlorn lass by the irresponsible chump. If he really loved her he would live sacrificially for her. He would marry her.
I say that sentimentality coincides with Radical Egalitarianism because after all, there needs to be some way for us all to feel good together if we are to call ourselves Christians. If you really want to celebrate the incarnation, Jesus said to take up your cross daily and die. I know, it’s easier to pray a prayer, go to church and be especially caring around Christmas time. (gag)
an emotional and passionate person
(not giving props to the one who started the thinking for this post in order to protect myself)