A Manic Depressive Christmas?!
Marked by alternating periods of elation and depression.
I don’t know if it is just me but I feel a strange phenomenon this year, what I would call a Manic Depressive feel to the holiday season. (Please accept this description with a grain of salt; I simply feel it is the best way I can explain it.) Extreme grief about the state of the world, followed by a celebratory mania about the holidays.
Look at this bizarre juxtaposition:
Highest Terror Alert in U.S. since 09/11/01
Persecution of Christians increasing worldwide
Feel good music and movies
Outdoor displays with millions of lights
It feels like utter madness to go from reading about the beheading of a believer in Syria to turning on “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and drinking hot chocolate. I don’t have an “off” switch or at least when I try to push the “make the world stop hurting so I can enjoy my Christmas already” switch it seems stuck.
There are some Christmas songs and stories that live with the tension- embrace the tension- as a matter of fact. Some of the lyrics are hidden in lesser known verses and others have been sung to the point they are rote.
From “O Holy Night”
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
From “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
From “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”
And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men
But the bells are ringing
Like a choir singing
Does anybody hear them?
Peace on earth, good will to men
Jesus, Savior of the World, was born in a time of political unrest as God’s chosen people were ruled by a foreign government. The king was afraid of the new king being born in a stable- so much so he issued a decree to kill thousands of baby boys.
Death and life intermingled.
Truer still with Christ’s death on the cross. His death for my life- and your life.
I want just life. I want just pretty white lights. I want the messy gone.
My heart longs for Home.
“At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.” Matthew 13:26-27
No more death. Only light. No more manufactured happiness, only joy!