AA per_(.)(.)_tive : Quakers / Christmas - 3

Mary Calhoun moriah at preferred.com
Sat Dec 18 09:03:57 JEST 1999


per_(.)(.)_tive from the Administrative Assistant's inbox--

Quakers on Christmas
__________________

_(^)(^)_ the following seemed worth sharing...

from Chattanooga Friends Meeting's "Friendly Voice:"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part 3 of 4

 "....not allow it to blind us to other Light."
    This same Friend later offered a concluding response to the discussion:
"The responses to the query on Christmas were very interesting and I was
intrigued by the depth of commitment against the idea of holiday and
celebration.  I thought that it might be useful to give another
perspective."
    "Modern consumer culture is not the source of Christmas as a time of
excess.  For sure, we now celebrate this with far too much emphasis on
material exchange, but this is just the most recent wrinkle in a history of
excessive celebration.  For a long time before the modern era, Christmas was
one of the many feast days celebrated with riotous behavior by common folk
and not actually a particularly important holy day within the church.
Before the rise of modern industrial capitalism, there were many feast days
and holidays throughout the year, many more than there are now, and one of
the main tasks of early capitalists was to decrease this number in order to
have a more disciplined and 'industrious' workforce.  For quite some time,
there was a real social war waged over such days but almost all of them
disappeared over the years."
    "In spite of the tremendous amount of spending associated with Christmas
(which we, as friends, should reject) it has also become for many a day that
celebrates the opposite of what modern life is supposed to be about.  It
interrupts the strict regularity of the work schedule, it allows a fairly
substantial chunk of time to spend with family and friends in the sharing of
fellowship and bounty, away from the pressures and demands of work.  It also
provides a wonderful time for religious reflection, given that at the heart
of it is a recognition of the birth of Jesus.  There is something of great
value here that Friends should not reject but rather save and nurture.  We
should not forget the testimony of simplicity but we should not allow it to
blind us to other Light.  Let us avoid the negative side of piety."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   to be continued...

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