In other words, we’re all on the table, the culture and all of our lives are terminally flat-lining – the Annunciation should shock us back to reality.
Thomas Merton – in the 1960’s – was forseeing what many of us are experiencing on a day to day basis – reality of most people’s view of the world/life is one dimensional…actually a reduction of all the wonder of what God created and the power of what life actually is…
Merton wrote, “all words have become alike in our world…to say God is love is like saying eat Wheaties – no difference except that people know they are supposed to look pious when God is mentioned and not when cereal is."
Amazing isn’t it – that can't be clearer or more true than during Christmastime.
Miracles these days are reduced to diet pills, figure slimming swimsuits, wrinkle reducing lotions, garden fertilizers…did you know that close to 80 billion dollars will be spent this Xmas – we are so easily deceived aren’t we?
How can this be?
We mix the incarnation with Santa/gift giving and don’t even flinch…
If anything we live out (day by day) the proof that we haven’t bought into a different value system or worldview than anybody else – we all have a not so subtle allegiance to materialism – that stuff is all there is…we are moved more by expensive gifts and technological trinkets that by the most earth-shattering event in history of the universe. We spend more time shopping and getting all stressed out during the holidays than in quiet reflection/worship of the living God being born in a baby into our lives.
There used to be a time when Christmas meant this for alot of people – "Jesus was all you had – so essentially Jesus is all you needed"
This is not supposed to be a guilt trip but rather a call/challenge to a return to forgotten ways – for 100’s of years, people celebrated Christmas simply and the focused on the right thing – the incarnation – God’s amazing love – miracle of what God is doing in this world.
Annunciation – "Do not be afraid for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."