1. Galadriel says:

    I love the Charlie Brown Christmas special. To be fair, though, I also love Doctor Who Christmas specials, which generally involve aliens invading London and the opposite of peace, love and joy.

    Mr. Copper: It’s a festival of violence! They say that human beings only survive depending on whether they’ve been good or bad! It’s barbaric!
    The Doctor: Actually, that’s not true. Christmas is a time of, of peace, and thanksgiving, and… Oh, what am I on about? My Christmases are always like this!
    –Voyage of the Damned.

  2. …for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

    Stupid angels couldn’t even get their lines right. They were clearly supposed to say all believers.


    Yes indeed, Fred. This doctrines-of-grace minded brother couldn’t agree more.

    Notice the angel also didn’t announce “tidings of great joy, which shall be to all the Jews.” Instead he broadened the perspective. And Luke’s gospel’s inclusion of lowly shepherds, and Matthew’s inclusion of Gentile wise men from a pagan land, all come to see the newborn Savior, reinforces this truth: Christ has come for all sorts of people.

    At last, back goes God’s plan announced from the beginning, not just to be a light to the Jews, but for them to spread His light to the “outsiders,” the “pagans” — the Gentiles.

    [God to Abram/Abraham:] “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
    Genesis 12: 2-3

        [God] says:
        “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
            to raise up the tribes of Jacob
            and to bring back the preserved of Israel;
        I will make you as a light for the nations,
            that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

    Isaiah 49:6

    A final note on this, from the ESV Study Bible commentary:

    I bring you good news is Greek euangelizomai, the verbal form of “gospel.”

    • Fred Warren says:


      I had a WALL-E flashback when I read that. 🙂

      Yeah, it’s easy to fall into a sort of fortress mentality this time of year and get so focused on trying to fight off the world we forget that we’re called to share the Good News with everyone in it.

      That’s kind of how I felt as I wrote this. This week is about peace, and it was like I was sitting in a bunker, shellshocked. Time to walk across No Man’s Land and shake a few hands.

  3. Great post, Fred!  🙂  Perhaps it’s because I love all the “trappings” of Christmas a lot, but it rubs me the wrong way just a little bit when people talk about “simplifying” Christmas to get back to the “true meaning”.  To me all the trappings and celebration and rich food and well-wrapped gifts are PART of Christmas.  (This post also went out into the blogosphere today, and I thought there was a bit of a connection between it and your closing words: http://www.feminagirls.com/2011/12/20/why-do-we-give-gifts-anyway/#more-3886)

    • Fred Warren says:

      That’s a great article, Bethany, and I liked the Narnia reference–that scene always comes to my mind this time of year.

      I don’t have any problem with people “simplifying” their Christmas, or celebrating lavishly. I think there’s room for both the splendor and expansiveness of the angels and Magi and the quiet, lamplit awe of the stable and the shepherds. It’s more a question of why we’re doing what we’re doing. When we turn the focus of Christmas onto ourselves by using it as an occasion to find fault with each other or feel superior because we’re celebrating a certain way, we’re missing the whole point. 

      • I agree! Nicely put.  I think the reason the simplifying trend annoys me is because often its proponents seem to view the more expensive, complex celebrations as overkill.  I have nothing at all against a simple Christmas!  But personally I love all the trimmings and trappings! 

  4. […] Quote for today:  “I urge you, don’t be stingy this year with the gifts you’ve so generously received from on high, and don’t begrudge those still wandering a glimmer of that same illumination, just as freely given. Don’t fear the distractions. The truth is more powerful than any number of myths, legends, or advertising agencies. Satan may be the author of many reprehensible and deceptive works, but he is most certainly not the author of hope, or love, or joy, or peace. And he can’t stop Christmas from coming or steal it away from us. He failed at that scheme a long, long time ago.” – Fred Warren in today’s post over at Speculative Faith. […]

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