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 half.com. 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.

4 comments:

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.

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