I am really tired of hearing Christmas songs anywhere I walk beginning now BEFORE Thanksgiving! It is ridiculous and completely empty of meaning. The merchantile purpose of this non stop exposure to the o, so superficial rendering of the mystery of Christianism is sickening.
And yet I wonder if the success of Christmas, and so of all the hoopla around it, merchantile and others, is not our deep rooted need for redemption.
But what is redemption?
Is it what the dictionary says:
1. The act of redeeming or the condition of having been redeemed.
2. Recovery of something pawned or mortgaged.
3. The payment of an obligation, as a government’s payment of the value of its bonds.
4. Deliverance upon payment of ransom; rescue.
5. Christianity. Salvation from sin through Jesus’s sacrifice.
Certainly the last one is being the Christian one is the Christmas one, isn’t it? But even that is not clear. What is sin and what sort of sacrifice was Jesus’? How does the whole thing saved us? From what?
The other night, thanks to Netflix, Pat and I watched the Gran Torino, a film by Clint Eastwood. (Read a good synopsis by Jason Buchanan in All Movie Guide: http://www.answers.com/topic/gran-torino-film)
Pat and I concurred with no hesitation that it is story of redemption. In a movie like this one, redemption is easy to understand.
In conclusion, you know redemption when you see it, but in its absence it is hard to define it, even to understand it.
Perhaps what Christmas brings is a longing for redemption, even though we do not know how to express it in thoughts. Yet, we sometime glimpse at how we could live it, actualize it, make it happen.
Christmas’ Good News is a hope that indeed redemption is possible, here and now. And that makes all the difference.