Here we are again. It is almost Christmas. Have you been bad or good? Does it really matter?
I recall seeing a particular episode of the Simpsons, not so long ago, in which the devil-may-care attitude of Nelson sang a mock Christmas tune with joyous dreams of barbequing the head of a teacher and flushing the body down the toilet. It seems everywhere we turn in our modern and "enlightened" society there is mocking, ridicule and disdain for anything that is holy or Christ-like, and the substitute are things that are unholy.
We are near the end of Advent, a time that is supposed to be of preparation for the coming of the Lord, a time to reconcile ourselves to Him, to take an inventory of our virtues, and a time of hope to deliver us out of the muck of our existence. The motto of the masses this Advent is no different than previous years, which exhibit the same behaviour. It is so easy to fall in to the following behaviour. The rush to setup the most elaborate holiday scene possible; the dash to buy everything in sight, even if the people you are buying them for do not need the items; the massive debt then accumulated; the holiday TV specials that have little to do with Christmas; the token gesture to do something "nice" for someone; the over-indulgence of spirits and food; and so on. And, of course, do not let us forget about Santa Clause! You know the jolly red hatted fellow, who bears no resemblance to the actual Bishop of Myra. These distractions are vices or can be seen as anti-virtues. We so easily take on the opposite behaviour of the virtuous, and muddle about in our own murk.
Sometimes it seems like the great teacher, the one teacher, Christ the Messiah, has died in the hearts of man at a time that we need Him most. Like Nelson said in his jingle, did we flush the teacher's body down the potty and out of our lives? How much joy do you see when you look around? The devil works extra hard to make sure we do our best to forget about Christ. Don't let him. You must fight it. And, if you stumble, then get up and seek repentance!
So, when Christmas does arrive, go ahead and put up some decorations, as long as it is glorifying the coming of Christ. Buy a gift for someone special, but make sure you aren't doing it to buy someone's affection or putting yourself into debt. Watch that Christmas special, if it helps you prepare for Christ. Do something generous for someone out of humility, not because it makes you feel "good". Have a feast, drink and be merry, so long as you realize who we are feasting for. Of course, let us not forget about that overweight, gluttonous fellow. Next time you see him, tell him that the Bishop of Myra called, and he is very angry about how he has been distracting people away from Christ and unto material possessions.
Merry Christmas, and may Christ's presence be ever present in your lives.