Would you walk with me as we travel through this holiday landscape towards Christmas just as two disciples once found themselves on the road to Emmaus?
Perhaps, like those like-minded travelers, we are a little dazed and confused by the events of the season where Jesus Christ has been removed from much of the social scene and replaced with non-offensive symbols, empty traditions and generic spirituality. Oh, sure, Jesus is still remembered from time to time, but the figure of Christ that the world puts before our eyes is often so distorted that we do not even recognize Him anymore.
Who is this “TV Jesus” that speaks “cool lines” that are “theologically plausible,” but outside the inspired word of God? What are we to make of the “Transgender Jesus” that is defended by a Cambridge dean as a “legitimate” viewpoint? And why are people laughing at the “Meme Jesus” in social media who wears swag gear and sunglasses to make hip, coarse jokes?
No wonder people are losing the true joy of the season! Are we to believe that this common depression is solely due to a seasonal affective disorder during shortened winter days? Is it from unmet expectations of a romantic Hallmark Christmas that never materializes in real life?
More likely, as sincere believers, we are somewhat discouraged by the hype and idolatry that corrupts the very real and profound incarnation of our Lord and Savior and turns that joyous, historic event into the consumer-driven focus of tinseled pine, a jolly old elf, and a red-nosed reindeer. No wonder we sometimes speak to each other of spiritual weariness, melancholy, or confusion in the midst of this pretense. What happened to our once-clear view of Jesus Christ now obstructed by all these twinkling baubles in the world?
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