The Crisis of Our Times

"Not by force of arms are civilizations held together, but by subtle threads of moral and intellectual principle." -Russell Kirk

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Saturday, January 07, 2006

O Holy Night, O Silent Night 12/24/05

Its the 24th of December, the beautiful Eve of Christmas, and I have of yet not made a post--though many ideas have come to mind. And most of those ideas have came out of my intellectual response to other people's blogs--namely those disparaging religion but at the same time complaining about the decay of culture (a paradox to me and surely for many). And since its the time of the great Holiday, I don't wish to trouble my audience--even if that be only me--with any slanderous remarks or mean spirited name calling, of which I'm prone to do (just joking of course).
Instead I think it would be much more appropriate to contemplate on the miracle that occured, really just a small step in time, those many years ago in a small impoverished manger. That Christmas Day, a baby was born who was not just a man but God himself. As odd as it sounds, that fact just really started to ease into my mind today. Since the time I was a child I knew something or other about Jesus, that he was the son of God, and that--paradox to our mind--he was God himself. Throughout my short life I've went through various stages of belief--at a young age superficially accepting without any care for understanding, through a period of mocking disbelief, to now just a state of awe at what an amazing fact (and its correlating grand concept) that virgin birth of God is. God chose when, how, and where to be born as well as to whom. Nothing is insignificant. The very fact that God made the choice to become a man--a strange decision if any motive other than great love is considered--is stunning. In great part it is this level of love that has been given to us on that most holy day that I've just started to fully appreciate. The God of all things, the highest being of all beings, the Truth and creater becomes the created (in part), he becomes a lower form (in part) because he put himself into a state of suffering, pain, and temptation in a world full of human-made distortion. That's absolutly awesome to me. The concept is so deep that if a man feels no humility in his soul (when that wonderful miracle is ACTUALLY contemplated), then I'd have to deduce that they're of some other sort of creature.
That love is our continuing gift and that wonderous mystery should be the aim of continuious devotion. Its sad to me, in thinking about all this, that on the Day when the greatest gift was given to humanity, we now consecrate to ourselves--marching out in the cold air, fighting trials of traffic and those of a natural sort, fighting with our fellow man to waste away our money on unneccessary items to put under our Pine Tree (which is itself elaborated with luxurious figures of a fat man dressed in red) to gratify our desire (if only in part) of a cornucopia of endless material goods to hoard to ourselves. We give because we want praise, or maybe more often because we feel we have to in order to get more for ourselves. On the day when our eyes should be on God, in thanksgiving for the Son and in celebration of his endless love, we're flattering our own egos with every material indulgence, giving and expecting presents for ourselves. If God cannot satisfy you, What will?
I'm not throwing stones, or for that matter, spears and daggars. The sin is mine as well. I was out there with all you, and I think it was actually you that blooded my nose last night so you could grab the last Polly-Plaything there was at Toys-4UR-Souls. I recognize the need for change and I DEARLY HOPE YOU DO TOO.
All praise to God, but alittle thanks to you to for suffering my rants and tired thoughts.
God Bless and Merry Christmas,
B. Hoffman

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