Christmas is a time for peace on earth, a time for favorite carols, family dinners, and familiar traditions. It's about a beautiful story of a lovely babe in the manger. Or is it?
A Not-So-Silent Night uncovers the dark side of Christmas, a side that exposes pain, humiliation, fear, and danger. Though we usually choose to ignore them, these elements--in their cultural and historical context--reveal the true meaning of Christmas where the shadow of the cross is inseparable from the manger. Author Verlyn D. Verbrugge maintains that until we see the dark side of Christmas, until we shed tears with Mary and Joseph, until we experience the fear that war is on the horizon, we will never truly understand the awesomeness of what happened in that little town of Bethlehem.
Christmas is a very special time in the Christian calendar but it has never been in our family an expensive holiday celebration. Being expats, we each kept some of our well rooted traditions and simply incorporated some new ones thus making it an original blend!
The Advent calendar with the lightning of candles, Midnight mass and the Nativity all had their place along our (tiny) tree in the Flanders. Caroling, the reading of the Christmas story, the birthday cake for Jesus, Boxing Day and so on were added later once I married a Brit!
Most importantly, we always reminded our children that Christmas is ongoing throughout the year. The feeling of elation we experience throughout this blessed Season should not stop when you take the tree down!
Christmas is a time for hope, a time for rejoicing, a time for sharing and so much more!
In 'A Not So Silent Christmas', Verlyn D. Verbrugge delivers a provocative albeit well developed argument that there is a dark side to Christmas. This he tells us is usually ignored by Christians but these different emotions (pain, humiliation, fear and danger) reveals the true meaning of the Season. He adds that until we see the dark side and acknowledge the shadow of the Cross as inseparable from the Manger, we will not understand what truly happened over 2000 years ago in a little town called Bethlehem.
At the risk of sounding very naive, I would like to think I see the best in everything. Society as we know it has enough dark side. Yes, there is good and evil in everything but until we believe in the good of all things, we have not accepted Christ! It is only when we release 'power' in His hands, that we are true believers.
A startling amount of research was enacted to put together this 103 page book and since I am no theologian, I will not dispute the veracity of Verlyn D. Verbrugge. I will not differ on Mary and Joseph's sadness at the birth of their child and its circumstances for example nor the ensuing events or even its shady locale history. Mr. Verbrugge's reputation tells me I am out of my depth but whilst others will agree with him I have to well, disagree!
I will close this by telling you Christmas means something entirely different to me, it is coloured with happy thoughts and reverence and not for a moment will I see it as something dark! I am a dreamer and I remain hopeful!
I could only give it 3 stars!
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