Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Carols? Bah Humbug!

I got myself into a little bit of trouble on social media last week.

My crime? I hinted at the fact I’m not too keen on Christmas carols - a truly heinous crime apparently!

I’ll start my saying I like listening to carols…. when done well. I love them done in their original form (Fire and Sleet and Candlelight by Coope, Boyes and Simpson is brilliant!) and hearing the Salvation Army Band is also awesome. 

I am not a Scrooge - honest! And this admission has nothing to do with being a musician and hating them done badly and like a dirge. (Although I do dislike that too!!)  

I concede that having a carol service can draw people into a church, and that it’s a great tool in working with our communities. Brilliant. I’m glad people do this sort of outreach.

But my comments are made as a children’s worker.

Many carols give a fairy tale view of Christmas - twee, pretty, sentimental etc, and we get the kids sings these carols in family services because it’s “sweet” and it gets them “involved”.

Yes, we tell them the true story with all the facts…... and then we make them sing something that is totally different. It can be very confusing for young children - even more confusing to our young friends with autistic spectrum disorders!

My God is big - He chose to come to earth in the form of a baby - weak, helpless God child. He was a real child - that’s the whole point. He cried, messed his nappy and gazed up at his mum like any other child. THIS is amazing.

He grew up, He did awesome stuff, He pointed to God the Father and is the only way to relationship with God the Father, He did no wrong, He died…. And rose from death. THIS is amazing

Many Christmas carols trivialize What God did (with a few notable exceptions!)

Why are we so surprised when people can only see Jesus the baby (Who apparently wasn’t a ‘real’ baby, because the carol said he didn’t cry….)

Why are we so surprised when children relegate the greatest story in history to the level of a fairy tale along with snow white?

Why are we so surprised with reports like this from the daily mail where people can’t separate fact and fiction in the nativity story?

I WILL sing some carols this year, and I will rejoice in those ones that give me a glimpse of the bigger story. But I will continue to cringe at those that trivialize what God did.

This is because I care for our children and I want them to have a clear understanding of who Jesus is, along with how He came, the reason He came that way and the consequences of Him becoming human.

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