Worship with Us This Sunday - 10:15 a.m.
We Don’t Talk About That at Christmas!
change the subject.” You know what this means. “I really don’t want to talk
about that.” We have many reasons for not wanting to talk about a given
subject. Sometimes the subject is painful. Other times we feel the subject too
private. It even may be the subject is open to conversation except in present
the Season of Advent we generally talk about prophets, angels, innkeepers,
young parents, and of course, baby Jesus. We learn of Zechariah’s song, Mary’s
Magnificat, and songs from the “Heavenly Host.” But, we don’t talk much about
our culture we do not prefer the pietistic reference to “wrong or
transgression.” Sin is a “religious word.” We find it easy to dismiss the
subject if we can categorically refuse its use. We do not have trouble
identifying any cultural influences that shaped our history or the history of
people. But mention sin and immediately its religious connotations place the
subject out of bounds for many.
problem is, whatever word we use to describe fractures in relationships,
contraventions of civil law, or out right disobedience to the “laws of the
land,” these are realities of life. Putting things back to right requires some
action taken to repair relationships, live civilly with all people, and obey
laws intended to protect everyone. Choose your word. People act in ways that
violate the Other/other. Unless we prefer to live in a state of constant
rupture, we look for some means to put things back together.
the Season of Advent. Were there no need to repair the breach, heal the
fractures, repair the ruptures, we would not need a Savior. Some people are
just fine with that language and invoke language games of their own. We who
celebrate the Season of Advent as the coming of Jesus, the Christ cannot escape
talk of sin.
writer of Hebrews reminded readers “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and
goats to take away sins.” The reference is the sacrificial system connected
with the Temple. Sin is presupposed. That is, the human condition is set in the
context of sin. People have attempted
any number of ways to make things right – sacrifices of animals for example.
obedience, even to the point of death on the cross, is what the writer opens up
as the Way. Jesus’ obedient life given for us does not fail. Our continued
transformation comes through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for
all. “His body” encompasses his life, death, and resurrection. Our living the
life of Jesus works against those actions that fracture relationships.
may not talk much about sin at Advent. But, if it were not for our sin there
would not be an Advent to talk about.