In Defense of Christmas

Just a quick note to point you to some helpful Christmas Day reading. In yesterday’s Wall St. Journal, John Wilson, editor of Books and Culture (an evangelical review and sister publication to Christianity Today) addressed the charge that Christians are overemphasizing Christmas, particularly in comparison to Easter. The gist of his take:

Where to start with what’s wrong with this analysis? Let’s begin with Rabbi Hoffman’s contention that Christmas never “really mattered.” Such hyperbole reveals the false dichotomy at the heart of this particular Anti-Christmas Rant: the idea that Christmas is more important than Easter, or vice versa, and we must choose between them. That’s no more cogent than suggesting that Revelation is more important than Genesis.

Christmas brings us face-to-face with the mystery of the Incarnation—the preposterous claim that the creator of the universe sent his son (but how could he have a “son”?) to be born of a virgin (what?), both fully man and fully God: “Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness,” as we read in Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

This claim we call the Incarnation—and celebrate at Christmas—can’t be separated from “the paschal mystery of death and resurrection.” The babe in swaddling clothes comes with a mission to fulfill. And as we sing carols for his birth, we see him taken down from the cross, wrapped in “a clean linen cloth,” and laid in the tomb of a friend. That’s the cloth that is left behind in the empty tomb on Resurrection morning.

Easter is implicit in Christmas, and Christmas is implicit in Easter. When we celebrate the one, we celebrate the other, looking forward to the restoration of all things.

Read the whole article here. And a very Merry Christmas to you all.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>