Saturday, November 25, 2006
The Tinsel Burlesque
Burlesque (n)-From the French/Italian burlesco/burla: A jest, mockery. Any broadly comic or satirical imitation; derisive caricature; parody.
The most despised day of the year is now behind us; during the long torturous month ahead, be cool, be patient/long suffering, persevere and if you can, buy an iPod or other music player. Anything with headphones. The most despised day is of course the one in which Christmas music begins infesting your radio.
“23“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
The verse mentions nothing about dogs barking “Silent Night”. Or Chipmunks with their Uncle Dave singing “Feliz Navidad”. Or Ozzy Osborne singing “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem”.
God is not mocked, and I’m certain that He’s not amused, either. In my church we will sing the Christ-honoring Christmas songs as we worship God together. That is Holy communing of God and His people such as Jesus mentioned in the verse above: “In spirit and in truth.” When I sing to God, in the car, at work (very quietly, as not everyone uses headphones) or at home, it is worship and praise, and it happens most every day of the year. When Buddy Hackett tells the ‘Christmas story’ with a string of expletives, when the Red Hot Chili Peppers do “Oh Holy night” it is an unholy affront. When ten thousand variations on this unholy theme regurge out of our radios for the next 30 days, it is overwhelmingly offensive.
Tinsel. Tinsel is shiny and pretty, but has no light-it only reflects the light which touches it. Christians are called to be the ’Light of the World’ which is only possible as we are lit from within, having the Holy Spirit indwell us. We should be shining brightly in a darkened world. In the analogy of the Christmas decorations, we Christians would be the bulbs strung together, and those who do not have His Spirit would be the tinsel. The tinsel looks pretty in our light, but take us away, and there’s no shine for nothing.
If you sing, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” in the next month, whether in your car accompanying Perry Como, or in a church service, or just by yourself, listen to what you’re singing:
“God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.”
We are born astray-born into sin, and singing songs from the point of view of Christians no more makes you saved than quoting Mel Brooks makes you funny.
Worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Don’t be tinsel.