Archives: Feast of the Incarnation

True Confessions of a Grinchy Priest

Okay, St. Francis, I’ve been on board with you now for over a year, and it’s time for me to come clean, publicly, from the pulpit. It’s time for you to know the full truth about your Associate Rector, and I hope you still love me after I tell you.

I’m a Grinch.

It’s true. It’s awful but it’s true.

I do not want to jingle all the way.

I don’t deck my halls—I don’t own a single Christmas decoration, not even a sad Charlie Brown Christmas tree.

I do not ding dong merrily on high, or on low for that matter, nor am I interested in participating in any reindeer games.

I am a Grinch.

There. I said it. Let Father Davies know if you’d like him to ask for my letter of resignation.

Here’s where I need to clarify.

I do love the Feast of the Incarnation.

The birth of the infant Christ is deeply meaningful to me, and the Holy Family are three of my absolute favorite people on earth—I even have an icon of them in my office.

But I do not love American Christmas, which is very different from the Feast of the Incarnation, and every year I find it harder and harder to tolerate.

I know it makes me sound like an 85-year-old telling those kids to get off my lawn, but I can’t help it—the noise, the materialism, the smearing of badly considered theology on top of secular pagan traditions—blech.

It just wears me out. I basically stick my fingers in my ears on the day after Thanksgiving, close my eyes and shout Advent hymns to drown it all out.

But what I’ve gotten up here to tell you today is that this year I’ve received an additional insight as to why I hate American Christmas so much, and it’s actually much closer to the Feast of the Incarnation than I expected.

And to explain it, I have to tell two stories. Continue reading