Christ is Born: Come as a Child and Glorify Him!
by JOHN MARK REYNOLDS on DECEMBER 24, 2012
used with permission from http://www.civitate.org/2012/12/christ-is-born-come-as-a-child-and-glorify-him/
One says, “Christ is born!”
The friends replies, “Glorify Him!”
Every Christmas, traditional Christians mark the Holiday by exchanging this greeting. If the ACLU thinks “Merry Christmas” infuriating, then this must drive them mad. Next time someone says “Happy Holidays” reach into the deepest Christmas tradition and reply “Christ is born! Glorify Him!” with a cheerful voice. If they are a Christian, they will be blessed and if they are not, then you have given them a lesson in multicultural appreciation.
An atheist wrote that Christianity will “infantalize” the faithful.
The good news of Christmas for everyone is that this is not true, but there is a good reason he thought so. Christianity does make infants of grownups, but it does allow grownups the good of being children and Christmas is a time where accessing this good is possible.
What do I mean?
It is not desirable to be infantile or childish, but is wonderful to be child-like when child-like wonder is appropriate.
Christmas is one of those times.
The infantile man denies reality: he is grownup not a boy, but the child-like man recollects the goods of childhood and applies them to situations when appropriate. A child quickly understands when something is big, great, awesome, or ancient. Those who forget what they learned as children can pretend to grasp the infinite or even numbers as high as a billion, but they kid themselves. They fact that we can use large numbers or even juggle infinites in logical equations does not mean we grasp them.
Starry nights should produce wonder and a sense of our smallness, because stars are wonderful and we are small!
One need not be a child to be child-like, only remember what childhood taught.
Christianity forgets no good lesson and discards no important truth. Christmas returns us to first things.
A bad celebration might demand childishness, but a good party allows us to enjoy First Things as adults. There is nothing infantile about “dressing up” (party hats!), good food (treats!), or games. In fact, game playing, story telling, fairy tales, and masquerade have never (until recent times) been considering childish. They are simple enough to be enjoyed by children, but they are human enough to endure through old age.
Kids dance, but so should old men and women. Of course, the dances of the old are not the dances of the young, the sly fiddler in Fezziwig’s party knows to strike up “Roger de Coveryly” so the elder Fezziwigs can enjoy themselves appropriately.
Christianity and our holiday Christmas reminds every human that even God when He became man started as a child. We are not children now, just as He is the King of Kings now, but He was a child and we are as well. There is sweet humility in that fact, but there is also glory.
The birth of each of my four children was glorious enough, but one need only mediate for a moment to think of God in the flesh coming! How glorious! How marvelous!
A child can love a cave full of animals and a manger with a baby, but an adult can as well. It is a deep image . . . full of grace and truth to all people.
Tonight, this holy night, I will bow at a symbolic manger, just as I did as a little boy. The boy has become a middle age man, but the Christ who helped the boy remains to help the man.
Christ is born!