Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Why the Gaps in His Resume?

Poetic mythmaker, Clement C. Moore, borrowed a couple of ideas from Washington Irving and in 1822 he gave us a detailed picture of St. Nicholas— a picture complete with the red suit, the round belly, and the sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. In the 190 years since then, Madison Avenue mythmakers came to realize there was a big gap in the year starting with the day after Christmas and continuing until Thanksgiving when Santa Claus reappears, and over time they filled in the myth of Santa Claus with a home at the North Pole, a workshop manned by a toy-production labor force of elves, and a kindly wife named Mrs. Claus who looks remarkably like my own wife. The point is this— when you’re selling the idea of an iconic personality, you need to fill in all the details.

I offer the tale of Santa Claus to stand in contrast with the tale of Jesus Christ. If Advent and the time leading up to the nativity is meant to build anticipation for the coming of mankind’s Lord and Savior, then why is there this informational black hole starting the week after Christmas and continuing for three decades until Jesus shows up again as a full grown adult? By all accounts, the first Noel was witnessed by three wise men, as well as numerous shepherds and angels and heavenly hosts (whatever those are). And it’s obvious from the record that everybody at the nativity realized at the time that it was a big deal. So why didn’t anybody bother to track the growth of Jesus after His birth? Where are the hymns about the second Noel, or the third, or any others?

The Muslims in their Koran have a pretty detailed account of the life of Mohammed, and there aren’t the gaps in his story like there are with the life of Jesus. In Christianity, the four gospels do a fair job of doing the job they do, but they sure leave a lot unsaid. If the Son of God truly walked the earth in the midst of mankind two thousand years ago, then why was he so unremarkable for most of his life?

1 comment:

The God Gene said...

These are thought I share with you. One question: Who actually related the nativity story to the gospel writing apostles, since none of them were actually there to witness the Christmas event???