Tuesday, 28 December 2010

The Meaning of Christmas.

A festival of giving

Christmas is fading away, the trees are coming down and the lights are switching off.  Time then to consider, as the last of the Christmassy feel leaves the country, what is Christmas really all about?  Is it about overindulging yourself and overeating or is it about family? Is it all about having a good time, or celebrating some old religious festival that nobody really cares about?  I would say it’s none of these things.  In jest, two of my friends said this to me at Christmas time:

“Hope the Christmas holidays are going well. Remember the real meaning: presents.”

“And remember, Christmas is all about the presents.”

I’ve been considering that and they’re right.  Christmas is all about presents, there’s simply nothing else to it. 

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Santa Claus Theology.

A celebration of coming

“You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He's making a list
And checking it twice;
Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town”

You can tell its Christmas when that song starts blaring from every shop you pass. Well, you can tell it will be Christmas soon anyway. Well, within the next month at least. Or two…

Wait though, Santa Claus is coming?  Is that what Christmas is all about?  Or is it about God? God, who came as a child in a dingy stable, lived and died on a cruel cross and rose again for our salvation.  Or a jolly fat man with a few reindeer and some singing elves?  Don’t get me wrong, Santa, presents, trees, lights, reindeer – it’s all brilliant, Christmas is great.  But so many of our problems are caused when we mix up God and Santa Claus – and not just at Christmas, but throughout our lives.

You see there are two dangerous ways in which we mix up God and Santa Claus.  Firstly, we make Santa – all he brings and represents – into God, and secondly, we make God into Santa Claus.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Many roads, one destination.

An unhelpful statement

‘All roads lead to God’ – The battle cry of our pluralistic age, the rallying call of all those who view Christianity as intolerant and narrow for claiming a universal truth which is the only way to salvation.

‘All roads lead to God’, do you agree?

Blog Title

For any not familiar with Lloyd Alexander's great works "The Prydain Chronicles":

Firstly, shame on you! Read them!
Secondly, you may require some explanation as to the title of this blog.  The series is primarily about a young Assistant Pig-Keeper called Taran, who is called upon to complete great adventures and save the world from evil.  To quote from Lloyd Alexander himself:

The chronicle of Prydain is a fantasy. Such things never happen in real life. Or do they? Most of us are called on to perform tasks far beyond what we believe we can do. Our capabilities seldom match our aspirations, and we are often woefully unprepared. To this extent, we are all Assistant Pig-Keepers at heart. 
Lloyd Alexander

I chose the title because I certainly feel "woefully unprepared" for writing, especially of some of the more weighty matters.  Also, although I hope I will improve, I suffer no delusions as to my capabilities and in general my aspirations certainly do greatly outweigh them.  Therefore, although we may all be "Assistant Pig-Keepers at heart" I feel that I am more greatly one than most.