A funny thing happened on the way to the blogazine. I had been storing up all my prophetic angst, all my rage at the commercialization of the Christmas/Advent season. I was brewing up some stinging comments decrying the many ways we leave Jesus out of Christmas- how we allow hyper-materialism and Santa Claus and Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman to distract us from the real meaning of Christmas. I was going to sound a call to the few righteous out there who would cast their Christmas trees aside in favor of a life sized replica of the straw-filled manger (and for the really radically righteous- inviting barn animals to camp out by the manger for a week or two).
I was going to lament our greed and gluttony and wastefulness and mindless consumerism this time of year. I was going to be like Jesus in the temple- on a rampage that this ‘house of prayer’ (Christmas) had become a ‘den of thieves’- that this holiday could again become a holy day. But I decided instead to enjoy things a bit and have laugh- to let a few ‘holy fools‘ encourage us to cast off all that hinders us from loving each other and remembering that Christmas is all about remembering the incarnation-and ‘re-incarnating’ Jesus to those around us.
First off we have the ever classic and unbearably awkward Mr. Bean, like prophets of old, symbolizing the profound distractions that abound as we make effort to focus on the birth of Jesus- the theological depth to this is amazing- ok, well, at least it’s really funny seeing baby Jesus airlifted out of the nativity scene by an angel hanging from a helicopter. Thanks to Tom Fuerst for first posting this. This is hilarious and my kids loved it:
Next up is Reverend Billy of ‘What Would Jesus Buy‘ fame who, along with his Church of Life After Shopping, stir us from our credit card induced comas. He leverages the persona of a larger-than-life evangelical televangelist and uses it to portray and embody a call to repent from our love of money and affluence. He is one part activist, one part entertainer, and a holy fool all the way. If you haven’t seen the movie What Would Jesus Buy I highly recommend you do so before finishing your Christmas shopping. It’s hilariously hard-hitting and you can watch it free online. While I disagree with his secularized theology of Christmas I think his ‘stop shopping and start giving‘ message is more timely than ever. Check out the video:
Lastly we turn to the most important of modern-day Christmas prophets. He may not technically be considered a holy fool himself but certainly Charlie Brown and his gang of ‘peanuts‘ play the role of truth-speakers and they are cartoons so that is close enough. Here we have the wildly popular segment of Linus telling about the birth of Jesus – quoting scripture to a depressed and befuddled Charlie Brown. Always a must watch this time of year:
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