Friday, December 14, 2007

Take Back the Holiday

Denver Seminary Bookstore had this sale just before I quit my degree programme there. I bought a bunch of cheap books I had never heard of, realised some time later that I was probably never going to read them, and put them up for sale on Then someone actually bought one, and I thought, "Rats, I should've read it first!" So before shoving it in an envelope and a mailbox, I perused a quick chapter.

It was a book by Rodney Clapp and the thing I remember about this one chapter I read in it was his saying that Christians would never regain Christmas if they didn't regain Easter first.

I actually think this is true, although I can't remember how he unpacked his idea. I think Easter is our true holiday (although obviously if God hadn't become a real human being, it wouldn't be such a big deal). There's so much crammed into Easter: love and forgiveness and grace and hope and life and death--but not in the fluffy-chick-and-bunny sense of those words. (I'm not sure if there's a fluffy-chick-and-bunny sense of the word "death"--but I'm not sure there isn't, either, frankly.) The sort of bracing, scary, hard-to-come-by sense, instead, maybe.

I think if we had a better awareness of what we were celebrating at Easter and why it's so exciting and worth getting crazily celebratory about, we would probably have a little better handle on what we're celebrating at this time of year, too.


Craig Blomberg said...

Amen, Jenn. For future reference, anything by Rodney Clapp is worth reading, and will always be counterculturally provocative in a biblical fashion (if that makes any sense!)

Merry Christmas!

Jenn said...

Ah, alas. I knew it! Which is why I bought it. Then I sold my soul (or something) for about $7. Sigh.

Annelise said...

Have you seen the text of the carol by Sabine Baring-Gould called "The Infant King"? Sadly, it is not one that we sing in the US, but it is sung in the UK and Ireland, and has a text that reflects the totality of the Christ story.

Jenn said...

Mom--I probably have seen it, but I don't remember it at the moment. Sabine Baring-Gould sounds familiar to me, but I can't think what else I know that she's written.