Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Naivety in the Nativity

Philosopher Paul Ricoeur spoke of a "second naivete" necessary for the mature adult mind. It's not romanticism or nostalgia, both of which have bitter axes to grind with some objectified thing or person as symbol of all they hate about the world. But I think Garrison Keillor's got the real deal:
This magical story is a cornerstone of the Christian faith and I am sorry if it's a big hurdle for the skeptical young. It is to the Church what his Kryptonian heritage was to Clark Kent -- it enables us to stop speeding locomotives and leap tall buildings at a single bound, and also to love our neighbors as ourselves. Without the Nativity, we become a sort of lecture series and coffee club, with not very good coffee and sort of aimless lectures.

On Christmas Eve, the snow on the ground, the stars in the sky, the spruce tree glittering with beloved ornaments, we stand in the dimness and sing about the silent holy night and tears come to our eyes and the vast invisible forces of Christmas stir in the world. Skeptics, stand back. Hush. Hark. There is much in this world that doubt cannot explain.
HT: Mark Shea