THINKING OUT LOUD: A confession of a dissident

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I loathe holidays.

Not for me. I know a rat when I smell it; and Christmas, like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and any day that is arbitrarily assigned to celebrate an occasion in history, reeks of commercialism (that includes Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and practically any Day you can think of like those national days of whatever).

Why should Christmas be revered when the birth of Jesus Christ took place in utmost secrecy? King Herod issued a proclamation to kill all unborn children under the age of two, because he was told that a baby was going to be born who would save the world.

Apparently, the story of the wise men from the East bearing gifts is the reason we spend money we don’t have for gifts for people we mostly ignore or take for granted the rest of the year.

Humbug, I say. Christmas is another day (or season) to complicate life to the fullest. It was Henry Thoreau that admonished readers to “simplify, simplify, simplify.” But our commercial culture will not permit simplicity. And, in the age we live in, one that is defined by technology and our submission to it, the trap that had been set generations ago has been fortified.

Welcome to our nightmare.

Life is about living, not offering material things to people who are spirits living in a material world. Yet, the “season of giving” jingle resonates strongly within our subconscious and conscious minds.

Humbug to you, and you, and you.

No one knows for sure when Jesus was born. Most likely, the one we call Christ was not born in December. For that month was designated by the emperor Constantine to be the official day of Christmas – December 25, in the fourth century. The date coincides with the time during which pagan rituals were performed in recognition of the winter solstice. It had nothing at all to do with the birth of Jesus Christ.

Understanding this tidbit of history should make us realize that the Christmas we celebrate is hollow. It is devoid of any true meaning and significance. It is, above all, another ritual that,rather than enabling us or emboldening us to move forward in life with confidence and purpose, leaves us empty and in a state of recovery for days and weeks to come.

If the condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder has any validity, that makes the timing of Christmas even more perilous. The months of January, February and March aren’t called The Wasteland for nothing. Depression and suicide are real byproducts of false expectations, and the guilt that follows for not feeling happy and festive for Christmas.

People talk of keeping Christ in Christmas, but they go along with the program without taking the path least taken – the one that leads to true peace. They decorate to the nines with ornaments and lights, but they don’t see the darkness and loneliness in their hearts.

The world is too much with us. The world that is too much with us is the substance of what we call holidays.

Take a deep breath. Get a new perspective. Our world is temporary. There is a new one coming. And, the Christ that we remember at Christmas, was born to live and die for the sins of this world. The only day in Christendom that should be remembered is resurrection day (not the Easter that we celebrate, for that is a pagan fertility ritual). The true and living hope of mankind rests in the birth and death of Jesus (called Yeshua). Until the world sees the world for what it Is, and resolves to disengage from it, the sadness and confusion will continue unabated.

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Jesus said, “I leave you peace, I give you my peace.”. . . But the sad fact is that not all Christians have discovered how to live in this sweet peace.”

That is all. God bless everyone who reads this.

Lee Goodwin writes about sports for Local.News. His column, “Sports Focus,” appears Fridays.

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