Author’s Note: This is one of those weird posts where I have three ideas that are being braided together in my head to something new. Sorry for a bumpy, confusing ride!
Festivus was a non-holiday created in the 60s to fight how commercialized Christmas, Hanukkah, and other holidays were becoming. Originally, the holiday was held anytime from December to May; however, current celebration is December 23.
Families ate dinner, aired grievances, and had “feats of strength” where two members would hold a wrestling match. Later additions due to inclusion in an episode of the sitcom Seinfeld contained discussions of “Festivus Miracles,” little things that happened that could be easily explained.
In a previous post, I discussed how Matthew 18:15-20 could be applied in social media. In this passage, Jesus sets the standard for dealing with sin. First, you confront the sinner privately. Then, you take one or two others. Finally, the whole body confronts the sinner.
In light of the recent rampages in schools, churches, movie theaters, and shopping malls, I have significant questions about the safety and practicality of this practice in modern Western society. Have we as a culture become too dysfunctional and spiritually immature to call sin what it is and deal with it properly?
Christians have historically “stolen” the holidays of pagans and celebrated events in Christ’s life on them. The very jaded argue it was about bullying pagans into following Christ. I counter that early Christians loved their neighbors and wanted to share their celebrations with them; if the worship was of any god but Jesus, they could not do so. They chose to place Jesus’ events near those dates so they could celebrate at the same time, and pagans could choose to convert at their leisure without losing celebrations.
Regardless of denomination, Christians in every denomination need to develop a Festivus Day ceremony, but the order is different.
Feats of Strength
The pastor, minister, or priest enters in silence. The entire congregation silently asks the Holy Spirit to place them in a spirit of contemplation and reflection.
Airing of Grievances
Deacons, presbyters, or ushers hand all the congregants Post-It Notes and pencils. On one side, each person writes the three sins that are most annoying in others in the congregation. On the other, each person his or her three worst personal sins. Deacons, presbyters, or ushers collect the sheets of paper. The pastor, priest, or minister reads each sin out loud; the congregation immediately searches the Bible for an appropriate passage to be read. The secretary notes the sins and passages to be published for future prayer and reflection. The Post-Its are burnt one by one.
The Family of God already has a family dinner called Communion. This should be held in silence at the end of the grievance airing.
If we are truly wearing Christ Jesus, over time, the Festivus celebration should get shorter and shorter. The Catholic confessional would no longer be needed. New Protestant denominations would no longer be born. All Christians everywhere would eventually show the love of Christ and turn our world upside down. And that, Festivus or not, would be the greatest miracle of our age.