The Sacred Obscure Amidst the Secular


The Advent and Christmas seasons are astir with secular activity, not the least of which is the commercial.  Santa and his reindeer, busy elves, gift buying, snowmen, snowflakes, the Grinch, candy canes and many other holiday fixtures overwhelm the biblical story of Christmas.

Drive or walk down any neighborhood, and you will see secular decorations including inflated characters from recent movies and not so recent movies filling the landscape.  An occasional nativity takes small space.

It is not that commercial Christmas starts so early.  It is inevitable that time would be given before the big day to purchase gifts and other items for the observance.  It is not the timing but the space.  The space is small for the religious observance and large for the secular celebration.

One must keep his eyes open to perceive the sacred feast.  It is there, but not prominent.  The parable of the mustard seed may help our making sense of this situation.  The mustard seed is the smallest of seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants (see Mark)  The kingdom may seem insignificant now but will grow from insignificance to great prominence.  This eschatological parable shows us that in the end the kingdom of God will prevail over all things. What seems small will become large.

Our secular society is floundering.  It has no ability to be long lasting.  The kingdom is in our midst and will manifest itself in all its glory at the End while the secular realm will pass away.

Christmas is indeed a time of joy at the coming of the Christ child and His ultimate victory over sin, death, and the power of the devil.  Opportunities to witness will present themselves.  Pray to the Lord that when the right occasion comes, you will speak the Name of Christ.

Michael Tavella

Christmas 2021


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