As we move deeper into the Advent Season we should be mindful of the perennial danger of over-spiritualizing Christmas in our reaction against over-commercializing it. We should remember that the truth of the Incarnation is that God comes to us where we are, in this material world which He made and into which He placed us. We should find it exciting to consider the fact that the gift of God’s love comes to us in specific, concrete, tangible, practical ways. Very early in the Christian Church a movement called “Gnosticism” tried to gain acceptance. The effort was based on a philosophy of “spiritualizing” religion to such a degree that it completely and effectively divorced it from practical life. And the Gnostics are still with us. We still meet well-intentioned people who “spiritualize” Christianity to the point where they actually succeed in defusing it.
There is a story about the great English writer, G. K. Chesterton, who was playing a little quiz game with some…
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