Monday, December 28, 2009

The Call of the Wild One

Something fierce and untamed,
It calls out my name—
A lure that is stifled
By what I conceive.

By details and triflings,
The worries of life,

By lovers and leavers,
And all that seems right,

Religion and duty
And all our designs—
The towers of Babel
I raise day and night—

All drown out His ardor,
The sound of His voice,
So even His keening
Just seems like more noise.

Still the wild One pursues,
Disdaining restraint,
And all my feigned order
He’ll raze in the fight—

The one that He’s fighting
So that I can hear
His savage wail calling

For me to come near.

"He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion." - C.S. Lewis

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Christmas Story

Christmas, for me, has changed since I entered the story. I’m starting to get it. I’m learning to worship Christ at Christmas instead of bowing to the gods of consumerism. I heard someone say recently that consumerism is individualism on steroids. And we tend to build our individual kingdoms of self most at the very time of year we ought to celebrate Christ’s kingdom. If Christmas is really a Christian holiday, why does it look so much like bowing at this culture’s high places of idolatry? Even efforts to “Christianize” Christmas seem to be no more than the same old thing with a Christian veneer — we pad the pockets of Christian retailers or really take a stand for Christ by having the audacity to only buy from retailers who will use the word Christmas to promote consumerism. (Using Christ’s name in vain? Hmm…)

I heard on a Christian radio station recently a plug for a book about how to keep Christ in Christmas. I expected something counter-cultural, but I was appalled that the strategy seemed to center around innocuous decorating ideas—using more nativity scenes and spelling out Christian words with lights. Is that what entering the Christ story looks like? If so, I’d rather bask in my own brand of debauchery! (Which, I think, is the attitude of many in my generation, and is why so many are opting out of a Christian religion that only seems to offer platitude and pretense—but that’s a whole other post…)

But there’s a way of celebrating Christmas that doesn’t just include Christ, it is Christ-centered and Kingdom-oriented. It involves acknowledging the advent, or arrival, of God incarnate coming to earth to rescue us from ourselves, to redeem our brokenness, to set us free from captivity, to transform our warped ways of living, to give us life, and to bring his righteousness, peace, and joy. That is a story worth entering...