Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Christmas Gospel?

Yet, it is often in the darkest most disorienting moments that faith can be rediscovered, and truly embraced. And it may – or may not – come from time spent in a house of worship.
The opening words of an opinion piece speak to a circumstance well known among the great holy days of Christendom.  People come to Church carrying their wounds and their sins, struggling under the weight of the disappointment and despair they carry every day, and lamenting the stresses of family, work, and self.  They are always there on Christmas.  Even when the faithful families of the parish have boarded planes, trains, and automobiles to head off to children or parents or even grandchildren to more idyllic settings of Christmas, the hurting and fearful do venture out to find a place where hope may be reborn, where sins may be forgiven, and where new life may be created within them, in the peace that passes understanding.

Then the opinion piece goes on. . .

I think the best way to rekindle faith is to be in places where faith can find us. I’m not simply writing to invite you to a mosque or synagogue or church. I’m inviting you to places where people of faith gather and participate in the movement of progression and inclusion we are working hard to achieve.
Now things begin to go downhill.  Is it true that the Gospel of the Incarnation of the Son of God is mostly about the movement of progression and inclusion?  It gets worse. . ..

We urge people of faith and good will to take solace and comfort in the fact that there is a strong current of inclusion, unity, acceptance and celebration of faith among the faithful in the places we gather – houses of worship, communities.  This is the message we as spiritual leaders want to convey to people of faith – especially now in the most holy time of year and in a time where our collective faith has been tested by so much societal malice.
That is exactly the problem.  In far too many places where the wounded and hurting and fearful will gather the real Gospel of Jesus Christ has been exchanged for a false and misleading hope of a world which affirms all genders, all ideas, all ideals, all desires, and all truth in the name of a God who is more like an aging Santa than a powerful warrior who is come to fight for His people and give them victory over their enemies.

Christmas Eve is not about a progressivism or inclusion (at least not in the sense being used here).  It
is about the utter hopelessness and despair of a world which has tried everything to free itself from fear, from the prison of guilt and shame, and from the weakness of a truth incapable of doing anything but affirming our desires.  It is about the God who has come to our rescue not with works or even words but with the Word made flesh.  Here is the Child born of Mary who is like us in every way but sin to rescue us from what sin has undone and restore us to the God who made us.  In Him alone is the way, the truth, and the life that a world in conflict and people hurting and fearful look.  He is the One whose real inclusion brings a family out of the ruin of division and in Him we see beyond ourselves and the self-inflicted prisons of desire.  He creates in us new and contrite hearts no longer content with the old ways that are dead ends and filled with the new desire to life with the real and everlasting end of fellowship with God.

A blessed Christmass to you all and the everlasting joy of the eternal Son of the Father whom we know as Mary's Son be with you now and always.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, inclusion and Chrislam in Europe. Let us be thankful in the USA that we still enjoy (some) religious protections under the Bill of Rights:

Europe is finished.