I wish it were Easter…

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Let me be open: I don’t like Christmas at all. Ahww, I know, that sounds harsh. And I have the impression that it gets worse – with my feelings not with Christmas – every year. It has less to do with other people who are alienated to the true meaning of Christmas and mistake shopping and free time with the birth of Christ, which is the real reason why we actually are going to celebrate Christmas.

Christmas is my tender point and my Achilles heel. Normally you could say Dresden with its old buildings and different Christmas Markets like the popular Striezelmarkt with its long tradition is one of the best cities to celebrate Christmas. When you drive through the city you can see into a lot of windows which are richly and carefully decorated with Christmas asseccories. The people of Dresden care about Christmas traditions and build a whole safe world of Christmas memories around themselves.

Additional to this traditional overdose I guess another reason because I’m so depressed during the Christmas time may be the early darkness and the short days with its early darkness because of the winter. But surprise, surprise, I can prophesy for the 2nd January my mood will go up to nearly 100 % and the emotional spell of Christmas over me will be vanishing like a bad dream in the early morning.

If I liked and drank alcohol I certainly would drink alcohol until I become benumbed not to feel my emotions these days. A few years ago I fled to Turkey but nowadays I have neither time nor means to travel. In the lobby of the hotel I was welcomed by a richly decorated Christmas tree. But that wasn’t so bad because the environment was different. Another way to push away my Christmas sadness is to work. I keep myself busy to push aside the past of my safe childhood. A good remedy to deal with my Christmas mood you can see right here: I guess one of the best means is to get familiar with your feelings and to untangle them with words. To accept them and to accept yourself with patience. O.K. that’s the way it is. That’s the way I am. That’s my emotional structure. I overcame it the last years and I will certainly make it this year and in the hopefully following years in the future.

And Christmas is not about my emotional constitution, not about special Christmas feelings which we have cultivated in our western Christmas tradition. As we Mary and Joseph lived in their own daily reality. They were oppressed by the hard life then, dictated by the Roman empire and they were poor. Of course as a man I can’t understand how it is to be pregnant but I assume to travel by feet or on a donkey and to be pregnant certainly wasn’t easy and full of sorrows according to the future. But what at last counted weren’t the hard circumstances but the one who carried Mary in her womb. Looking at him gives me peace. Listening to Mary’s prayer I can find my peace too besides my broken emotional psychic structure according to Christmas.

“My soul magnifies the Lord.
47     My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
48     for he has looked at the humble state of his servant.
For behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed.
49     For he who is mighty has done great things for me.
    Holy is his name.
50     His mercy is for generations of generations on those who fear him.
51 He has shown strength with his arm.
    He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down princes from their thrones.
    And has exalted the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things.
    He has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has given help to Israel, his servant, that he might remember mercy,
55     As he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and his offspring forever.” (Luke 1:46-55)

3rd Advent: Christmas Feeling?

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.

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Räuchermännchen

 

Von Markscheider – Eigenes Werk, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23270738

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Schwippbögen

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,
who lives,
because God is everything to him,
bless you.