December 20, 2010

Something Wonderful: Jewel on Christmas and the Birth of Her Grandchild

Christmas isn't actually a High Holy Day. It's celebration was never proscribed for the Christian. In fact, many Christians do not celebrate it at all. For many reasons, all valid. The 'reasons' for the season are varied, stemming from its pagan beginnings to the present tackiness, greed, avarice and gluttony that epitomize the holiday today. Banning creches and crosses and trees doesn't bother me as much as the collective amnesia that fogs our crowded minds. We are forgetting that All Powerful God became a helpless baby boy.

When I beheld my daughter in the throes of giving birth to her son, I thought about Mary, Mother of God, in her own throes. It is the living, eternal nativity, played out in the ordinary every day. -- Tasty Infidelicacies

Posted by Vanderleun at December 20, 2010 11:19 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Your are kind, Mr. Vanderlanche. Thank you.

Posted by: Jewel at December 20, 2010 11:52 AM

God descends into matter to reascend as sentient being; the story of Christ and the meaning of the Star of David.

Congrats Jewel.

Posted by: John Hinds at December 20, 2010 2:26 PM

Thank you for writing this Jewel, and for giving it the exposure it deserves, Gerard.

Posted by: teresa at December 20, 2010 3:32 PM

With all due respect, Christmas has indeed been a "High Holy Day" for hundreds and hundreds of millions of Christians through at least a millennium and a half: how much more of a pedigree does it need?

Also, "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" is a song that really has nothing to do with Christmas: it is a Eucharistic hymn. This writer explains it rather well:

In the context of the Liturgy of St. James, the Cherubic Hymn clearly has reference to the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This is indicated by the language of Christ coming “forward to be sacrificed, and to be given for food to the faithful” in connection with the placement of the Cherubic Hymn in the liturgy: it occurs directly before the priest “brings in the holy gifts,” that is, the bread and wine. Indeed, outside Protestant circles, “Let All Mortal Flesh” is well-nigh invariably connected with the Eucharist.

Posted by: ELC at December 20, 2010 5:12 PM

Ah yes, doctrinal differences. Satan laughs when they appear.

Posted by: teresa at December 20, 2010 6:15 PM

It is just as fitting as a Christmas carol. As for my statement that Christmas is not a high holy day, I stand by what I said. Many Christians don't celebrate Christmas because of its pagan origins, and because it was never deemed as such to be remembered in the New Testament, but Easter is. My brother, in fact does not celebrate Christmas, although he would be the first to wish you a merry one. As do I....and I do celebrate Christmas.

Posted by: Jewel at December 20, 2010 7:33 PM

Ah, religious pedantry! Is there any smoldering wick it can't extinguish?

Jewel, you've inspired more in this one post than all the excruciatingly correct orthodoxy can. If the Breath of Heaven not breathe through us, all the correct thinking in the world affords us precious little hope when we reach that vale between this world and the next.

Many congratulations to you! (And the song was a perfect choice. And now this mortal flesh wish hush.)

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at December 21, 2010 4:58 AM

Congratulations Jewel, that is beautiful and totally deserving of a Vanderlanche!

Posted by: MOTUS at December 21, 2010 5:52 AM

I think I understand the point ELC is trying to make, but here is something wonderful else: his link to religious affections contains the hymns Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silence...also known as the St. James Liturgy. That was something I did not know! Since my grandson was named James, a more fitting piece of music there isn't! In addition to this wonderful and moving piece of music, the hymn, 'Come thou long expected Jesus' is included in the same link. One of my favorites as well.
So thank you ELC....the extra knowledge is a bonus.

Posted by: Jewel at December 21, 2010 7:22 AM

I thought of one more thing in regard to my daughter, Gerard, and this plays off your excellent essay, "Strangers Knocking at my Door".
On the day Mary was born, my sister-in-law was there to see her birth. I did not know it at the time but she was scheduled later that week to have an abortion. She was two months pregnant, her boyfriend was in jail, and her grandmother had found out, called the girl a slut and threw her out of her home. She was facing some agonizing choices. When she saw Mary's birth, she cancelled her appointment, and seven months later, on Saint Patrick's day, Mary's cousin Cory was born. It wasn't easy for his mother by any stretch, and she's been working poor most all his life, but he graduated from high school last year and is doing well for himself. His mother told me she has never let him know him how close she came to ending his life. I'm sure that she thinks about it, though.

Posted by: Jewel at December 21, 2010 10:34 AM

My Danish grandfather used to say that "Life and love will find a way." This is God's most powerful truth, and Christmas is his expression of it on earth. Parents who struggle to care for children know it, children who are loved and protected know it, lovers who cherish and respect each other know it, strangers who by a tiny kindness bring a sparkle of light to a heavy day know it.

Jesus lets us know it every minute. Happy birthday, Jesus!

Posted by: raincityjazz at December 21, 2010 2:06 PM