December 18, 1997 an episode of Seinfeld aired titled “The Strike” in which George Costanza’s father Frank celebrated a made-up holiday called Festivus to protest Christmas and all its attendant pressures and consumerism.
Fast forward 24-years, and I find myself encountering people at work hedging their bets. When varying their holiday greetings and well-wishing, more than one coworker in a week’s span has floated references to “Festivus for the rest of us.”
Replacing the Christmas tree with an aluminum pole, substituting feats of strength for gift-giving, airing grievances with one another in place of reading the Christmas story – all of it is so very post-modern and nihilistic.
This Little Light of Mine
Enter Bradford Littlejohn at American Reformer with his essay ‘Reimagining a Christian America,’ published December 22, 2021. And now is as good a time as any to explore the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future where Christianity in American public life is concerned.
With the loss of Christian America celebrated in too many quarters, Littlejohn’s article is a breath of fresh air. Common sense should tell us if our theology no longer does that life in Christ is to be lived out publicly.
“This little light of mine,” went the song. “I’m going to let it shine.”
Didn’t Jesus tell us to not hide our lights under a bushel, but to let them shine before all men? He did indeed.
We come then to a more thoughtful and intentional extrapolation of that command in Jeremiah 29:7 where the exiles in Babylonian captivity are commanded to “seek the welfare of the city.”
Strength to Weight Ratio
I differ with Littlejohn in his call to reclaim American public education. That ship has sailed. It is time to give it up.
All the same, Festivus is as good of a proof as any of the need for us to speak to the broader culture publicly and boldly about telos again in light of God’s Word.
So Merry Christmas, you filthy animals. And put away the aluminum poles and post-modernism already.
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