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|Have a Curmudgeonly Christmas!|
My Dear Reader,
As you know very well, a curmudgeon is not an evil person. Neither the Grinch, nor Scrooge, nor Old Man Potter rightly qualifies for curmudgeonhood. A curmudgeon does not hate his world, just its absurdities. And as you know, dear Reader, there are very few things as absurd as Christmas.
Now you may be wondering if I am a villain after all! I am not. A curmudgeon doesn’t hate Christmas itself, only the absurdity that Christmas has become. Another commercial with another scarf-clad woman, hands clasped and mouth gaping as she marvels at yet another bow-topped car. Another million women scowl at their husbands who return the favor. Merry Christmas.
The scarf-clad woman marvels at her fourwheeled “stocking stuffer,” your pastel-clad neighbor can’t carry on a conversation without mentioning the marvel that is the iGizmo, and even your dearest and favorite curmudgeon can’t help but marvel at the idea of a new single malt lying under the tree.
But who marvels at the God of Christmas? Not just God, but God in human flesh – the greatest of all mysteries, miracles, and gifts – God become one of us? A curmudgeon doesn’t hate Christmas, you see, just all the fluff we marvel at instead of marveling at the most of all marvelous things. Christmas is about nothing else but God becoming a man.
A fellow curmudgeon by the name of Martin once preached: “If it were only a matter of this glory and honor – that God’s Son should become our flesh and blood – that honor would be surpassingly great; that today we are so highly exalted that God becomes like us, taking on flesh and blood, would be glory enough. Even though I am a poor human being, nevertheless we are of the same nature in which God shares” (LW 58:192).
Dear Reader, what scarf-clad sinner wouldn’t gladly set her superficiality aside to marvel, with hands clasped and mouth agape, at the God who made all things, lying in a manger. What pastelclad peccator wouldn’t fling his iGadget aside to marvel at the God who became man “for us and for our salvation”? What cantankerous curmudgeon wouldn’t gladly rail against the absurdities of Christmas in hope that some might actually hear of Christ?
Yes, dear Reader, now you know what comes ex corde of this curmudgeon. We Christians do not despise Christmas, just the absurd idea of Christmas sans Christ. But, when this “God-inhuman- flesh” is preached, when His “death for our forgiveness” is proclaimed, even the mostcurmudgeonly curmudgeon can’t help but feel a stirring of Christmas joy.
Mr. Udgeon (an alter ego of Pastor Rhode)