“Have you already decorated everything pretty?” asked me a saleswoman last week in a shop where I often go shopping. “Oh, you know, I live alone and as a man I don’t have so much affinity for Christmas decoration.” But somehow the saleswoman was disappointed in me – and then she also said that, although with a laugh, but that only should overshadow her disappointment.
Von Markscheider – Eigenes Werk, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23270738
By Devilsanddust – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8755072
Since years I wasn’t in West Germany and I lack the possibilities to compare, but here in Dresden with Striezelmarkt, stollen, mulled wine, Räuchermännchen and Schwippbogen, traditions are maintained.
But what a pity, maybe since the death of my parents or maybe also through my studying of Theology, my Christmas feeling has been broken in thousand pieces at the ground of facts like a Christmas bauble which is falling from the tree. The piece of save childhood, which just concentrated in Christmas has been overhauled by reality of life.
How many flee from Christmas to South, and then become expected in the lobby of the hotel by a rich decorated Christmas tree.
Have I now to be ashamed and to feel guilty as a philistine of tradition, because I am not in the mood for Christmas, and I longingly wait that Christmas time passed overhead like an imaginary snow storm, and that everyday life starts at the 2nd January again?
Well, traditions first have to form over centuries and they even develop a life of their own and are becoming more important as their content at which they originally wanted to point to. It seems to me, because we can’t do anything with Christmas, that it is so important if it is snowing on Christmas.
Christmas has becoming to an empty shell of tradition with a cover of powdered sugar, to an economic factor, to a money machine of retail, to a traditional sentimentalism, which drive us like lemmings at Christmas into the churches. In churches, which try to be attractive for people through concert and exhibitions over the year, because else hardly anyone goes to church. (Situation in Germany)
If we were the shepherds, which are astonished to see the newborn Jesus child 2000 years ago in the manger, we wouldn’t see the TV set standing on the right there in the stable and aside on the left a decorated Christmas tree, wouldn’t a group of children quarrel with each other, who is allowed to use the PlayStation first. No, if we were the shepherds, we we would see there a little, Jewish newborn with its parents. We would experience there poverty, dirt and shabbiness. But also a unspeakable joy about the newborn, which outshines every lacking.
Aside the mainstream, beyond the overcrowded shopping temples, yes, even beyond the overcrowded Christmas services, which shall sate our hunger for tradition, an outsider is being born outside the gates of the city. Jesus comes into this world, but the world doesn’t recognize him.
He is light in darkness, but the darkness doesn’t understand him. It understands him as little as it can’t do anything with God. Like a failed superstar he stands shortly in the spotlights of publicity, vanishes than soon in thin air. To steep his theses, to daring his lifestyle. “Love God and your Next.” Listen to your consciense and look for God in silence.
There in this silent beyond land, where neither buying nor selling, where neither HD nor high-speed means anything, there in this beyond land, which is not in the beyond or outside the gates of the city, but in your own heart, only there in the silence you can find yourself, only there God can be born in your heart.
So that you can live
The One, who lives at the margin of society,
because God takes shape in him,
meet you in silence,
that you can recognize God.
The One, who is too precious for this world,
which nails him to the cross,
because it doesn’t understand him,
touches your wounds,
so that you can live.
The One, who is born out of God,
who is oblivious to himself,
because God is everything to him,