Saturday, December 21, 2013

I Miss the Jesus Part of Christmas

I'm in China, and Christmas is everywhere.

Storefronts and restaurants with Christmas trees at the entrance. Decorations in the windows. Banners that say "Merry Christmas"- sometimes in English, sometimes in Chinese. Cashiers dressed in Santa outfits.

It's everywhere.

And the Christmas music. Every large store is blaring Christmas music in English. "We wish you a merry Christmas." "Santa Claus is coming to town." "All I want for Christmas is you."

I even heard "Santa baby." Really?

And religious Christmas songs too. But I hear them play "Silent night" and it only emphasizes how much Christmas in China is not about Jesus. Because it's in English. No one understands.

And it feels like no one understands Christmas...

China's only imported the commercialized side of Christmas, and it feels so empty to me. What about God becoming a human? That's quite possibly the most amazing thing that ever happened.

Americans get all worked up about people "trying to take the Christ out of Christmas" but, seriously? In the suburbs of America I can drive down the street every day and see churches with Nativity scenes. China's Christmas never even had a Christ to take out. I seriously wonder what percentage of Chinese even know that in America, Christmas is a religious holiday.

But, I mean, it's okay that a different culture would have a different take on Christmas. I don't want to say "oh this is wrong! My American Christian view of Christmas is the only correct one!"- like, the vast majority of Chinese are not Christians, so of course they're not going to celebrate the religious aspect, which is fine for them. I'm just sad because it's not what I'm used to. I miss the Jesus part of Christmas.

Maybe that's what Advent is supposed to feel like- longing for Jesus to come. Wanting God to meet us. Wanting more than just the external decorations and the "merry Christmas" well wishes.

I'm waiting for him.

I've felt far from God and confused about God for a long time. I don't even know what it would mean to be close to God. But I still believe he's always with me.

I'm waiting for him.

And I'm looking forward to the Christmas Eve service when I come back to America in a few days. ^_^


This post is part of the #fleshYGod synchroblog, on the topic of the incarnation. You can write your own post and post it before January 6. ^_^

1 comment:

  1. This is fascinating. It reminds me of what Christmas felt like to me during the brief period of my life when I was an atheist.