Bill Murchison

Human deficiencies (called sins in a more theological context) don't seem at first blush to suit the picture of human independence we display on our walls with modern pride. Key to the future of Christmas is the deep reality of deficiency and need as built into the human condition, however richly decorated.

The contemporary definition of "need" has mostly to do with what we conceive government as eminently qualified to supply or guarantee -- jobs, schooling, health care, pensions. On another level are the turmoils of heart and mind -- pains, sorrows, things done wrongly, other things hardly done at all. A preference for government actions and measures makes sense in various contexts, and less so -- infinitely less -- in contexts where a man or a woman discovers within himself, or herself, shame or shards and fragments from a broken heart.

Christianity believes --- knows -- that the deep realities of life exceed anything that organized society, whatever its First Amendment opinions or think tank analyses, can address successfully. And because Christianity so knows and teaches, Christmas in all its commercial zaniness and confusion of purpose will never depart from our midst.

Cultural indifference or incredulity is not the measure of these things. Unthinkably vast realities are at work. They endure imperishably, such being the nature of realities as against opinions, fantasies, notions, theories.

"Hark! the herald angels sing/ Glory to the new-born King!" That would be the way of it, we may confidently affirm amid the joyous racket.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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