New Experiences

This holiday was one that produced some first-time experiences and realizations for me. I was alone. Due to several embarrassing physical issues, I was not able to visit my family in Illinois. Cold and low humidity would only add to the discomfort. I am a tall but oversized man unable to get out of most low soft furniture. Estrogen therapy and thyroid medications have caused other issues as well. They keep me alive, but not in the style I used to enjoy. So I was alone by choice, but I decided I could live with that even though I did not like it much.

Accepting an invitation to a Christmas Eve church service brought up anticipation of some great piano and organ music for the season. After an hour of choir practice followed by the pre-service piano and organ music, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed, I knew I was in trouble when I studied their bulletin. The service included a children’s sermon, a regular sermon plus all the mis-readings from Isaiah and, of course, the usual Luke 2. Those would be followed by reciting a confession and an invitation to join them in celebrating their holy Eucharist. It looked like at least another hour-and-a-half of sitting on four bibles and hymnals because the pews were so low making it very difficult for me to stand up. And I still had a 90 min. drive home after that, so I left, but not for that reason alone.

While on the way home, I realized that the Christmas holiday celebrated by so many in their churches had no meaning for me any longer. The festive decorations, the gifting, and the parties were still important to me, but the Christian baby-god who awakens in a manger and no crying he makes? What a kid! Never even cried! They see him as their baby-Savior who grew up to pay for their sins with his perfect life and his perfect blood. He is their god-with-us, Immanuel! OK, Isaiah did say Immanuel is God with (in) us, but that had nothing to do with a baby-god or a planned bloody payment. Rather, it described the living presence of a loving, compassionate God among us  that was meant to be a great comfort and encouragement to the people who had been burdened by the false priestly message of bloody sacrifice.

Now I understand why this lie has lived for two millennia. It is repeated over and over and over and over and over again in the churches, and now on the radio and the TV and the Internet and YouTube and Twitter and FaceBook and ….

Abba’s love and patience are indeed endless!  Micah, Hosea, Amos, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and Joshua Ben Adam all spoke of Abba’s love and compassion and mercy without sacrifice. They were giants compared to me, but they too were frustrated by this bloody sacrifice lie as a sufficient payment to a demanding church-god in the sky who would then permit a return into his paradise and an escape from his punishing hell – all thanks to this Christmas baby-god (Messiah/Christ). What a ruse surrounds us in these churches! And again, today they have all the new technology to spread their falsehood to the ends of the earth. – Abba, forgive the church’s leadership. They just do not know what they are doing. Bring the comfort of your compassionate love and joyful presence to the people in these Christian churches.

Yesterday’s message of the Pope to the holy church’s membership complained that the so-called “secular” marketing of this holiday with all its festive decorations and super-abundant gifting and partying tends to hide the the church’s real message of the humble manger scene. My response is that everything he complained about is a whole lot more representative of God’s presence among us than their baby-god in a manger.

 Henry Hasse ~ December 25, 2011

Published in: on December 25, 2011 at 7:29 am  Leave a Comment  

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