A few years ago the Huffington Post featured an article on the 12 dangers of Christmas. The article focused on fire safety during the holiday season. They covered everything from your Christmas tree drying out and catching the drapes on fire to burning down your home while preparing your roast beast.
The article had me thinking, what if there were other dangers during Christmas? What if, aside from falling off your roof while working on your light display and over roasting your chestnuts, there were hidden dangers during the season of advent that most of us overlook. So I decided to write about the dangers of Christmas we often ignore.
Now, a few years later, I want look at a few more dangers of Christmas we might ignore or be unaware of. So here we go, another 12 Dangers of Christmas.
Over the course of the season of Advent you will hear people say the season is about waiting. ‘Advent is about waiting, preparing ourselves for the coming birth of the Messiah’, is what they will say.
The problem with this assertion is that we spend more time waiting on other things than waiting on Christ’s birth this time of year.
Black Friday sales.
Rogue One premiers.
The DMV (Allison get your car inspected).
The checkout at Target.
The grocery store.
Yet, while we say w are waiting and waiting for Christ’s birth, we barely give it a second thought. Waiting, I think, is an easy response to a question many of us, myself included, have struggled with answering: what is Advent all about?
Because many of us do not have not an answer to this question, the response of ‘Waiting’ becomes one of the dangers of Christmas.
I’m not saying that waiting is one of the dangers of Christmas to be flippant or cute. We are all really good at waiting this time of year. We know traffic will be horrendous on the 22nd an 23rd so we prepare ourselves to wait. We make sure the car is gassed up, all of electronic devices are charged, and that our kids have enough snacks to make the 3 hour car ride to GG’s house. Most of us are really good at waiting. In addition, we are good at preparing others to wait.
My friend and mentor, Jason Micheli, argues that we should be focused more on the second coming not just part of Advent but as a response to the Ascension. Jason might argue that one of the dangers of Christmas that comes along with waiting is the bad theology that is often associated with. Or even yet, lack of theology that comes with our waiting.
If Advent truly is a season of waiting could turn of yearning hearts to the second coming of Christ rather than the coming birth of Christ. This comes off as confusing but that is because one of the dangers we face in the church is our inability to talk about the Christ’s return. Far too often the second coming is associated with ‘those’ Christians who on the far right or who are seen as ‘out there and crazy’.
Every time those of us in the UMC tradition eat at the Lord’s Table we acknowledge that we are waiting for Christ to come again ‘in final victory.’ Do we really realize what we are saying? When we recite these words our waiting goes from anticipating His birth to awaiting His final victory when God’s Kingdom is reigning on earth.
We are a society who loves to wait. While writing this I am waiting in the line at Starbucks. We move from one thing to another waiting and waiting. And that’s the danger this Christmas, waiting without know why or what we are waiting for.
Are we waiting for Christ’s birth, the His return, or for the next deal on a T.V.?
If you want to know more about the conversation Jason and I had with our podcast conspirators Morgan and Taylor, check out this episode of Crackers & Grape Juice.
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The Cracker & Grape Juice team will be part of Home-brewed Christianity’s Theology Beer Camp this January in L.A..