(TOWNHALL) – The religion, the faith, the belief-species owing its origin to the Babe of Bethlehem has experienced pangs and pains aplenty in the expiring year.
Not necessarily in order: the mounting moral toll of revelations about clerical sexual abuse; the continued outflux of those who are bored, skeptical or, for one reason or another, just can't see the point; the continued deterioration of, shall we say, popular culture. Can you believe Donald Trump is today's main cheerleader for "Merry Christmas" as a seasonal anointing? It has come to that.
The ubiquity of Christmas carols and Christmas cards and Christmas occasions (Hurry! You don't want to miss "The Nutcracker"!) cannot conceal the delicacy of our commitment to the feast day of Jesus.
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The commitment to Jesus himself, and not just his feast day, is designed to be passionate. There are no two ways about it. The Babe grew up to make declarations such as "Come unto me, all ye that are heavy laden, and I will refresh you." He said, additionally, "I am the resurrection and the life." He healed the sick and the suffering. He forgave sins. We call this sin business "judgmentalism" today: the separation of something called "right" from something called "wrong," in spite of choices to define one's self in highly personal and individual terms, aligned with inner instinct.
This thing is deep; it is perplexing. It cannot partake of the smells of a stable and of rich spices introduced into the environment of animals. And, therefore ...
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And, therefore, people have drawn, as ever, their own conclusions about the Babe – conclusions less favorable, in the year 2018, to the consequences of belief in him. If I believe there is more to this angels-and-stable affair than parties and eggnog, it follows that I must do certain things. Other things – this follows as well – I am not free to do. For the consequent reshaping of daily life, in line with the words of a holy man who never screwed in a light bulb or drove a pickup, not all are ready.