Christ is Born!

I know I’m not alone when I say that Advent is the most inconvenient time to fast. Thanksgiving. Then all those Christmas goodies. Not to mention those challenging coffee hours where no one really knows what’s fasting and what is not (I don’t read labels btw). My young adult children find it very difficult to “Be Orthodox” this time of year. Why? Why is this so hard to do?

What is counter-cultural about Advent?

1. Fasting in college. Dining halls. Parties. Not conducive to the Advent season. Actually, trying to fast is a quick way to be labeled “different”.

2. Church, church, and more church. This is the hardest. PKs understand. Why so much? Why? Because church is where home is.

3. Commercialism. Christmas is NOT about Toys R Us. It is not about new cars and Coke commercials. Minion yard decorations? What DOES that have to do with Christmas? Anything?

We have to wade through it all to see what Christmas REALLY is.

This year, I asked my folks in church to read ON THE INCARNATION by St. Athanasius. Why? Because it’s life changing. The idea is that the more we can know and comprehend about the Incarnation, then somehow this helps bring Christmas back to life. So read it if you haven’t, and if you have, then read it again, but this time, slow down. Drink your coffee, and take a moment to meditate on the depth of it all.

Dump the Minions, Snoopy, and yard snow globes. Discover the real meaning of Christmas and pass it on to the zillions who can’t see past the hype. Hang an icon of the Annunciation or the Adoration of the Magi in your front yard, and be Orthodox on purpose.

Happy New Year!

Oh my. Is THIS what we’ve come to?

I came across this the other day while Christmas shopping:

I must admit, I chuckled at first when I saw it. Then, as I stood there in this religiously based store, I felt sad. Sad for those who think that Christ is the type of person that ever would have “dabbed”. My students dab. Rock stars dab. Cartoons dab. But would Christ have done it too? The modern equivalent of spiking the ball?

Next, I wondered where our society gets the idea that Christ was just “one of us” and people feel so confident in this idea that they print shirts like this. Well, yes, He was human, but was He really just like “one of us”? I think not.

The point is, that we tend to project our fallen humanity onto Christ instead of thinking about the perfect humanity that He took on for us. It’s so much easier to think of Jesus as one of the guys, temptations and all, than it is to think of His perfect Godhead and how much we fall short of even His humanity. He sanctified the human body by donning it. He doesn’t copy us, we are to copy HIM! So, this Christmas, let us thank God that Christ was the perfect “one of us” so that we can endeavor be more like Him.