Monday, December 24, 2012

The Christmas Experience

I usually write a blog or feel inspired to write a blog after a theological or artistic discussion with my should meet her, she is quite brilliant. We were talking about Christmas. It is Christmas Eve morning and we were discussing the experience that is Christmas.

When I think of Christmas, I absolutely think of the theological and intellectual and even emotional concept of love coming down to be among men. The "Jesus being born" aspect of Christmas (of course, the most important aspect) definitely resonates within me and mesmerizes me and shocks me and a million other adjectives seem to come to mind when describing the event of the first Christmas. Even the word Christmas or Christ's Mass, is a theological amazement to me, given my early  Catholic upbringing.

But, if I really think about it, Christmas encompasses so much more than a theological concept, as it should. It reminds me of family, of wonderment, of cold, brisk air, of peace on earth and goodwill to men, of some of my favorite songs that only appear this time of year, of great classic movies, of pretty lights, of Edaville Railroad (a Christmas-y theme park in Carver, MA), of Christmas caroling on a horse pulled sleigh, of mulled cider, of eggnog, of succulent turkey, of every type of desert, of peppermint, cinnamon, logs on the fire,....the list goes on and on and on.

Christmas truly is a physical, emotional, intellectual feast. I would imagine that when most people  think of Christmas, they have positive thoughts on the subject. Some do not, probably. Those who lost loved ones at the holidays, those who are to tied to political and atheistic agendas, and those who are from a culture where it isn't as prevalent, might not. But most people probably do.

But why? Why does every child long for the Christmas season? Why do parents delight in giving gifts, Why did Santa get invented? Why all of the pomp and circumstance for a little more goodwill toward each other, some holiday get together with family and gift giving? Why do people like Christmas?

I think it might be because for the first time since the Garden of Eden, Christmas represented God walking among all of men. God's presence was physically among us. It wasn't just his Holy Spirit within us. It was Christ AMONG us. And we are just responding to Him that brings us comfort and Joy and Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward men and...Love.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Sanctification of our work

Sacrifice is at the heart of love. Artists sacrifice a lot for their art. However, I am not sure if we sacrifice all that is needed to produce great and holy and complete art. There is a list of ways that artists suffer and sacrifice for their art...many of these ways being unhealthy.

However, we, as redeemed creatures through the blood of Christ, must still realize that our work needs daily sanctification as do we. True sacrifice and sanctification is received by dying daily, even hour by hour and minute by minute, to oneself. We must die to ourselves to begin to live. And so must our art. To make great art our work must die before it can truly live. For it to speak for us to get to the heart of the matter of the piece, we must let it go to God. We must sacrifice it and see what is truly borne out of this release. Once the piece has been released, then can it truly be free; once the piece has died, then can it truly live; once the piece has been sacrificed to God, then can it be resurrected.