The reason for the reason
By Dr. Robert Owens
Frosty the Snowman asked Rudolph the Reindeer, “Do you think Christmas is too commercialized?” The Elf on the Shelf interjected, “Is the Pope Catholic?” Santa put down his milk and cookies and added, “Ho, Ho, Ho.”
As loyal media mavens of 21st Century America pop culture our perceptions of the Christmas season have been shaped as much by George running down the main street of Bedford Falls and Scrooge buying the biggest goose in town as by anything in the Bible. We spend our time driving the kids around to see the lights, decorating the tree, and shopping with precious little time left to even mention Jesus or the significance of His birth.
Seeking shelter from a crass and crude culture degenerating from indifference to outright hostility to God many of us retreat into a warm and fuzzy Currier and Ives Norman Rockwell bubble of accepted Christmas traditions based more in a Dr. Seuss Disney media than reality. To ward off the black Friday commercialism that consumes us, we duck behind the “Jesus is the reason for the season,” mantra. As if this alone was enough to lead us not into temptation.
As we hide behind our little Jesus catch phrase with the pious feelings, even this fleeting mention of the Name of Jesus inspires, and we should ask ourselves how often this spiritual sleight of hand gives us an opportunity to share the reality of Christmas. Or has it merely become the Christian version of the oft repeated insincerely asked “Hi, how are you?” catch phrase of Xmas? Is it time we admit this verbal deflection is more about making us feel like we’re doing something to combat the conquest of Christmas by the grasping spirit of conspicuous consumption by making a dent in the cacophony of crass commercialism?
The enemy can’t defeat God. He cannot overcome God’s plan and he can’t snatch us out of God’s hand. Just as in the garden when he confused Eve and led her down the primrose path to perdition, the enemy’s power is based on deception. Afflicted with spiritual ADD most of us careen from one shiny object to the next while falling for fads, trooping after trends and hypnotized by the next new thing. The accuser of mankind has never missed a church service, and his favorite disguise after an angel of light is the puffed-up rituals, ceremonies, and displays of the sideshow religion he pedals in place of the simple gospel.
Peddled by hucksters who prey upon the potatoes who grow so comfortably on our couches, the glitzy glamour and heartwarming familiarity of cultural Christmas might have more spirituality than a Grinch stealing presents but not nearly as much as Linus sharing biblical truth.
So, the next time we use our “Jesus is the reason for the season” shield to deflect the hooey and hype seeking to drown the most miraculous birth in History let’s prayerfully project the reason more than the season. Just in case we’ve missed it here’s the reason for the reason:
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens