I have spent the better part of my day thus far shovelling snow. Thankfully, the snow is of the light and fluffy variety (not unlike the way I prefer my eggs).
If, like me, you don't like shovelling snow, then you may understand that I consider shovelling to be an exercise in contemplation.
What, you might ask, does one contemplate while shovellilng? Besides one's sore back that is?
Well, I contemplated the way in which we consider snow to be so integral a part of Christmas, while much of the world knows nothing of it. Our Christmas is so Norman Rockwell it is almost sickening. It is such a luxurious image, something that is out of synch with the reality of so many lives.
We plan on having a Christmas that is, by the standards of many, spartan. Yet I know that by the standards of the world at large it will be almost extravagant.
Some might consider this contemplation little more than an expression of "white guilt." In reality though it is nothing more than thinking beyond my front door. Simply considering the disparity is not a sign of guilt. If I were to end up despising myself or my culture then I would say there is guilt invovled. I prefer to think of it as simply being reflective and taking note of ways that I might be true to the Old Testament teaching to care for the poor, the widow and the orphan.
We do need to appreciate the privilege of being able to have a Rockwellian Christmas. We need not feel ashamed of it. But we do need to be sensitve to the fact that our experience is not normal in this world, nor is it necessarily even (a) right. We need to subit our visionsof Christmas to Scripture and to teh Lordship of Christ.
Just like we do everythign else in our lives. Right?