Chuck Klosterman concludes his book Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs with a discussion of the born-again worldview, a subject he feels educated enough to discuss based mostly on a recent reading of the Left Behind series.
I'm a sucker for a good cause. Like. Honestly. Can't. Say. No.
Why am I this way? Well, guilt mostly. I still haven't figured out if this makes me a really good Christian or a really bad one. Probably both ,but the point is that I am infected with the same virus as everyone else that causes a crying out from deep within my soul saying, "DO SOMETHING!"
It's going to be pretty hard to get the Christ out of Christmas as long as we maintain the name and keep celebrating it on the date widely associated with his birth. We make the commercialization of Christmas a tale of blasphemy and while surely a shameful development, commercialism is a poor adversary for the King of Kings. Commercialism is a pretty powerful force in the modern world but it is still pretty hard to compete with virgin births and supernatural celestial events. We've anointed Jared commercials as an enemy not because they are endlessly annoying (seriously, how is it possible to make even the expression of love so repugnant?) but because religion requires an enemy.
Wakey! Wakey! demonstrates religion's need to justify itself in the song "War Sweater."
Battle lines drawn if you wonder which side speaks the truthHere we are at the dawn of advent awaiting the promised Prince of Peace and somehow we have made Christmas about declaring a petty American culture war. We know the Christ child as the Lamb of God, comparatively docile among the types of farm animals, so what makes us so eager to take up arms? If anyone is guilty of taking Christ out of Christmas, it is American Christians who would rather insert an angrier version of Jesus ready to win the culture on behalf of reformed theologians and then run for President. It is staggering how much our version of what Jesus would do if he were here today differs from the life he actually lived while on the earth. How did we get here to this place?
then look closely to which speaks from pride
I love you. I swear it. I would never lie...
But I fear for our lives and I fear your closed eyes...
You wear your religion like a War Sweater.
You ask for the truth, but you know you could do so much better,
and you sat on your fences, you've screamed no retreat...
So now what will your legacy be?
In the whole story of the birth of Christ, the only person who seems to truly understand the significance of the event is the mother, Mary. Upon being visited by an angel, which had to be a pretty mystifying experience in itself, and then being told all manners of craziness mostly surrounding the fact that she would give birth though a virgin she simply responds, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." Mary, of course, is also the one who will be jeopardizing her relationship, be mocked by society, and shunned by her family when she tries to repeat this ridiculous virgin birth nonsense to others. Yet, she is the picture of serenity and patience. That kind of faith helps you understand why some people venerate Mary to such a degree.
The difference between waiting and acting is the difference between love and romance. Love is quiet, patient, almost passive. There might not be a greater beauty on earth than a still silence shared between lovers who desire nothing more than to be together. Romance may have all the bells and whistles but the most hopeless of romantics only dreams to ultimately share those quiet moments. If we could only learn to wait on the birth of Jesus, we might also learn to value the waiting moments as the sweetest time we would ever spend with God.