Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Guilty, Your Honor!

If being counter-cultural is a crime in this modern era, then I would plead myself guilty beyond reasonable doubt and would willingly accept the judge's verdict. I am talking about being counter-cultural as to the celebrations that are overly commercialized like Easter, Halloween and Christmas. I have no problem celebrating Easter and Christmas. But like what I've said before, I have a bigggg problem celebrating Halloween. It just goes against my principles in life. With Easter in America, what disgusts me about the way it's being celebrated here is the presence of eggs, egg hunting and bunnies. It is so obvious that eggs and bunnies have nothing to do with the Resurrection of Jesus. It makes me sad that kids are thinking of candies-filled eggs and cute bunnies on Easter than on the importance of Jesus' resurrection.

With Christmas, I don't have a problem celebrating it if it is defined as the time we remember the incarnation of God in Jesus. But what I have against it is the presence of Santa Claus (and other little distractions), which, most of the time become the center of Christmas instead of Jesus. The worst scenario I've ever seen was the nativity next to the biggy Santa. Jesus is being remembered as a cute baby, while Santa is being remembered as the big guy who gives gives gives to us if we are good. What in the world!!! Hello, Jesus is no longer a baby. In fact, He is now seated on His throne as the King of kings and the Lord of lords!

As for Nativity. Here's what I can say... Imagine if it's your birthday and your guests are looking and adoring the baby picture of someone else because they thought it was you in it. You insist that it's not you in the photo but they still keep on saying that you look so cute in it. You'd think they're nuts, wouldn't you? I feel so bad that other people would even worship the nativity. Let's face it, the baby doll in the nativity isn't Jesus. It's not even a picture of him. The only thing it does to us is reminding us that more than 2,ooo years ago, Jesus was born in a manger. But the nativity doesn't have any power to save us. It doesn't have the power to transform us to be like Christ.

How about the Advent? It is defined as "coming" or "arrival". It is nonsense to observe Advent and define it as the time when we wait for Christmas (the birth of Jesus). He has already come. We must redefine it into a time that we spend waiting for the second coming of Jesus. I don't get it why we observe it before Christmas, unless we think He is coming back on the 25th of December.

Christmas Day, December 25 doesn't mean anything. Most of us know that Jesus wasn't really born on that day. I would celebrate Christmas Season and not the Christmas Day. There is no sentimental meaning in celebrating December 25.

Now... how about Christmas trees. Well, okay, it's just a decoration on Christmas. It's got no power over us. Has it? This test will see if you really are not attached to that tree... How about if you don't put one in your living room this year? Could you have Christmas without a tree? Or would that make you incompletely happy?

My husband and I decided to celebrate Christmas in our home in a different way this year. We won't have a Christmas tree. We still do gift-giving and have a special dinner. We will be singing- praising Jesus, pray and read the story of Jesus' birth. I will still bake cookies for our neighbors. This time, I will make them all in star shapes. That's the only shape that's mentioned in the account of the birth of Jesus in the Bible. I was thinking that if Christmas is really to celebrate the birth of Jesus then it is very biblical. Why not make it purely Bible-based and not be mixed in with worldly fad?


Mel Alarilla said...

Aw, Dines you are having a cultural shock in a foreign country and that's understandable. You just have to bear in mind that you are exactly where God wants you to be. Just try to adapt to them without sacrificing your scruples and values. I'm proud of your Christian advocacy. Since you are a Filipina, can I invite you to join Filipinos Unite!!!. You may do so by commenting on my blog or by sending an email to stating your name, address, name of blog and its url. Thank you so much and God bless you always.

Aisha said...

We're not setting up a christmas tree too because it's too much $ for us now and I'm used to not having one. So you're not alone. I bet there are people who won't be having a christmas tree. That's a good idea to spend christmas.