Sunday, December 25, 2011

A strange cultural moment of sleeping, gaudy unremembrance

In an article in the New York Times, author Marilynne Robinson refers to the current times as "our strange cultural moment". In another unrelated piece-a poem written by Carolyn Weber on her blog- I came across these two lines: Though the world sleeps/In gaudy unremembrance . These two ideas came together in my mind as I reflected upon our society and the Christmas event. Our cultural moment, indeed our entire societal ethos, is one of sleeping, gaudy unremembrance when it comes to Christmas.

It is a momentary strangeness that our societal stupor languishes in; it has not always been so. For the preponderance of our North American society's existence, it has been a generally God-honoring culture, particularly at Christmas time. So, this moment of strangeness perhaps is just that, only a moment.

The spiritual drowsiness we find ourselves may very well be a sleep-induced state brought on by our greed and covetousness of all things gaudy. The consumerism which grips us in a sleeper-hold of UFC proportions has left us worse than forgetful, it has left us in unremembrance. To me, this points towards the fact that we really should know better.

Take a moment or two, push back the strangeness and gaudiness and unremembrance-ness of this strange moment in our culture's history, and begin to fathom the depth of love that was demonstrated when God the Son, one in essence with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, took on a human nature and human flesh that he might redeem the world. Let his wrath-absorbing, sin-forgiving, family-reconciling life,death, and resurrection, that started on our world one day in Bethlehem, cause you great joy and greater gratitude this Christmas day.

Merry Christmas!

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