What does Christmas mean?

FRANCISCO-fact: What does Christmas mean?

There is no single answer to that question. I have received a number of memes from the Episcopal Church and my clergy friends saying that in order to put more Christ in CHRISTmas that we should put more mas in ChristMAS. That is a cute meme and somehow frames an invitation to be in Church somewhere between sundown on December 24 and sundown on December 25 for the experience of celebrating the anniversary of the birth of Christ.

This year I am seeing the confluence of the preaching of the most Reverend Michael Curry, the theology of the Christmas Carol “Love came down at Christmas,” and some Adam Smith, yes, you are reading this, Adam Smith. What I am not seeing is the confluence of Smith’s 1776 publication, The Wealth of Nations, with Christmas, rather, his 1759 publication, A Theory of Moral Sentiments. That title just rolls of the tongue, doesn’t it? Yes, it is the kind of title that would be published by a philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment. But Smith’s first work has this very quotable phrase and one that our current Presiding Bishop and the carol from the Hymnal 1982 puts before us as well: “Man naturally desires, not only to be loved, but to be lovely.” Not bad for a moral philosopher turned founder of modern economics. More to come on Christmas Eve.

To be part of feeling loved and being lovely, join us at 5:00 and 8:00 PM on December 24 for Carols, readings and Eucharist centered on the tale found in the Gospel of Luke, and again on December 25 for the tale told in the Gospel of John!

Published by fr.david

Rector of St. Francis Church. Adopted son of the Old Dominion--Hampden-Sydney loving, Red Sox supporting, Burkean.

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