The nativity in online terms

Have you seen this?  (If the video doesn’t show up, hit “comments” so that you can see the post separately. You should be able to see it then.)

{httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkHNNPM7pJA&feature=player_embedded}

HT:  Mary

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    I’m so going to share this.

  • http://snafman.blogspot.com Snafu

    I’m so going to share this.

  • Tom Hering

    It’s cute, but is there a Good News message here – other than “feel good about technology”?

  • Tom Hering

    It’s cute, but is there a Good News message here – other than “feel good about technology”?

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Mark Schroeder

    “Times change but feelings don’t” Hmmm. Seems to me feelings change all the time with the times. Not everyone hit the Facebook “Like” icon and felt good about the Birth. There is no Facebook “kill” icon. What remains the same? Like a rock? Well, the Word inspite of the current rage for our gadgets…or whatever the present lust.

  • http://concordiaandkoinonia.wordpress.com/ Rev. Mark Schroeder

    “Times change but feelings don’t” Hmmm. Seems to me feelings change all the time with the times. Not everyone hit the Facebook “Like” icon and felt good about the Birth. There is no Facebook “kill” icon. What remains the same? Like a rock? Well, the Word inspite of the current rage for our gadgets…or whatever the present lust.

  • nqb

    I liked it, but I can’t help but think that they could have chosen better music than Jingle Bells.

  • nqb

    I liked it, but I can’t help but think that they could have chosen better music than Jingle Bells.

  • Stephen

    Adjective, adjective . . . vapid comes to mind.

    Considered as a reading of Luke 2, I’d say this is just not the same story. The dissonance between the biblical account of Christ’s birth and the “feelings” elicited by marketing becomes more deafening every year doesn’t it? I mean, where would we look today to find a similar people like the first century Jews of Palestine under Roman rule? Would they be using iPhones and computers from the comfort of their obviously middle-class homes in a free society?

    Oh well, I guess the good Lutheran in me has to admit that even this awful junk might work on someone. In, with, and under all our sinfulness is the Holy Spirit doing it for us. I guess that at least this gets people to think in a certain direction. It’s a Christmas miracle!!!

  • Stephen

    Adjective, adjective . . . vapid comes to mind.

    Considered as a reading of Luke 2, I’d say this is just not the same story. The dissonance between the biblical account of Christ’s birth and the “feelings” elicited by marketing becomes more deafening every year doesn’t it? I mean, where would we look today to find a similar people like the first century Jews of Palestine under Roman rule? Would they be using iPhones and computers from the comfort of their obviously middle-class homes in a free society?

    Oh well, I guess the good Lutheran in me has to admit that even this awful junk might work on someone. In, with, and under all our sinfulness is the Holy Spirit doing it for us. I guess that at least this gets people to think in a certain direction. It’s a Christmas miracle!!!

  • S Bauer

    A video about the Christmas story with “Jingle Bells” as the soundtrack. It’s exactly like all those manger scenes with Santa and Frosty the Snowman. Now I do feel pessimistic.

    And it didn’t show Herod ordering a Predator strike on Bethlehem.

  • S Bauer

    A video about the Christmas story with “Jingle Bells” as the soundtrack. It’s exactly like all those manger scenes with Santa and Frosty the Snowman. Now I do feel pessimistic.

    And it didn’t show Herod ordering a Predator strike on Bethlehem.

  • Stephen

    S Bauer@6

    Ooooo . . . Predator strike! Good image. Now you are getting to the heart of the matter. Shall we meet somewhere for a good ale while everyone else sings about Rudolph?

    On another thread there was discussion of the meaning of Advent and the conversation talked about repentance. I once heard an Advent sermon on the Slaughter of Innocents that blew me away. There’s a cross in that manger. I dislike always being the heavy, but I long for some solemnity during this time of year and it seems it only, finally comes on Christmas Eve when those candles come out and the lights are dimmed and we sing Silent Night. The rest of the time it is a ridiculous din.

  • Stephen

    S Bauer@6

    Ooooo . . . Predator strike! Good image. Now you are getting to the heart of the matter. Shall we meet somewhere for a good ale while everyone else sings about Rudolph?

    On another thread there was discussion of the meaning of Advent and the conversation talked about repentance. I once heard an Advent sermon on the Slaughter of Innocents that blew me away. There’s a cross in that manger. I dislike always being the heavy, but I long for some solemnity during this time of year and it seems it only, finally comes on Christmas Eve when those candles come out and the lights are dimmed and we sing Silent Night. The rest of the time it is a ridiculous din.

  • trotk

    Stephen, I agree with you, and my natural personality is melancholic, but we do need to remember that Christ’s birth (which can’t help but remind us of his death and resurrection) is an occasion that does and should bring great joy. Thus, our solemnity cannot be the false solemnity that doesn’t allow anyone to be excited or happy.

    That said, I wish most Christmas carols would disappear, along with the materialistic emphasis that is their breeding ground. Along with Silent Night and O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, we need to sing What Child is This? more often.

  • trotk

    Stephen, I agree with you, and my natural personality is melancholic, but we do need to remember that Christ’s birth (which can’t help but remind us of his death and resurrection) is an occasion that does and should bring great joy. Thus, our solemnity cannot be the false solemnity that doesn’t allow anyone to be excited or happy.

    That said, I wish most Christmas carols would disappear, along with the materialistic emphasis that is their breeding ground. Along with Silent Night and O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, we need to sing What Child is This? more often.

  • Stephen

    Trotk 28

    Right again. I guess what hangs me up is that this is such an “all or nothing” season. I said this elsewhere, but I think when I was kid (maybe it is my imagination) there was a sense of building up to it. That’s gone. A favorite carol is “Joy to the World.” I sang it the other night at this mega-church thing my wife likes to go to with her family. Just awful – too loud, a complete repeat every year, and I tolerate it and smile and sing and try not to make snide comments. I’m getting better at it. But I would rather it be a devotional progression. It’s an uphill battle, and I am losing ground every year.

    As my child grows we’ll see where it leads with our involvement in church. I hope it means more in terms of anticipation and preparation for special events connected to our Lutheran traditions. But stuff like this video are just manifold it seems, and evermore invasive and accepted as just part of it. When is “more” enough? We may never know until the Second Coming I suppose.

    Oh yeah, and I also just get sort of down in the winter, so there’s that. You know what carol came to me that I like that is actually kind of a sacred/secular blending? God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. That one really was talking to me in much the same way you are now.

  • Stephen

    Trotk 28

    Right again. I guess what hangs me up is that this is such an “all or nothing” season. I said this elsewhere, but I think when I was kid (maybe it is my imagination) there was a sense of building up to it. That’s gone. A favorite carol is “Joy to the World.” I sang it the other night at this mega-church thing my wife likes to go to with her family. Just awful – too loud, a complete repeat every year, and I tolerate it and smile and sing and try not to make snide comments. I’m getting better at it. But I would rather it be a devotional progression. It’s an uphill battle, and I am losing ground every year.

    As my child grows we’ll see where it leads with our involvement in church. I hope it means more in terms of anticipation and preparation for special events connected to our Lutheran traditions. But stuff like this video are just manifold it seems, and evermore invasive and accepted as just part of it. When is “more” enough? We may never know until the Second Coming I suppose.

    Oh yeah, and I also just get sort of down in the winter, so there’s that. You know what carol came to me that I like that is actually kind of a sacred/secular blending? God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. That one really was talking to me in much the same way you are now.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I was trying to figure out why someone would go to all the trouble of actually mentioning Jesus and referencing several points of the Christmas story (and, as always, with a bit of Epiphany mixed in there), and then water down the religious content to a mere emphasis on “feelings”. Certainly in America, if someone ties Jesus’ birth to this time of year, they are almost always making a religious point. Otherwise, the most you’ll get is a mention of “Christmas”.

    But it turns out this is not only from a digital marketing firm, but a Portuguese one. I think the reason this ad confused me so much is that we’re basically getting the Portuguese version of a secular Christmas. It’s just a theory, mind you — I couldn’t actually tell you anything about Portuguese culture. But it seems to me that this is what you get from a country that’s heavily influenced by Catholicism (and not multiple, competing religions) and yet also European secular liberalism. The end result is about as significant, theologically, as Santa and his reindeer, but at least the neutered cultural referents are taken from the Bible.

    I haven’t quite said that right, but maybe it’ll make sense to someone. Definitely not the product of our American Culture War.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I was trying to figure out why someone would go to all the trouble of actually mentioning Jesus and referencing several points of the Christmas story (and, as always, with a bit of Epiphany mixed in there), and then water down the religious content to a mere emphasis on “feelings”. Certainly in America, if someone ties Jesus’ birth to this time of year, they are almost always making a religious point. Otherwise, the most you’ll get is a mention of “Christmas”.

    But it turns out this is not only from a digital marketing firm, but a Portuguese one. I think the reason this ad confused me so much is that we’re basically getting the Portuguese version of a secular Christmas. It’s just a theory, mind you — I couldn’t actually tell you anything about Portuguese culture. But it seems to me that this is what you get from a country that’s heavily influenced by Catholicism (and not multiple, competing religions) and yet also European secular liberalism. The end result is about as significant, theologically, as Santa and his reindeer, but at least the neutered cultural referents are taken from the Bible.

    I haven’t quite said that right, but maybe it’ll make sense to someone. Definitely not the product of our American Culture War.

  • Ron Priggee

    My initial thoughts ditto those of tODD (at #10). The tag line could better have been…
    Technology of the Messenger may be different, but the facts of the Story remain true.

    Shalom and a blessed Xmas to all!

  • Ron Priggee

    My initial thoughts ditto those of tODD (at #10). The tag line could better have been…
    Technology of the Messenger may be different, but the facts of the Story remain true.

    Shalom and a blessed Xmas to all!

  • Arfies

    I had seen the video and thought it interesting but not especially impressive. I lean more toward “It Came upon the Midnight Clear,” with its meaningful latter stanzas, as a good Christmas hymn. I also get a chill when Bach’s Christmas Oratorio introduces the melody that we sing on Good Friday, emphasizing what Christmas really means for Jesus and for us. No Jingle Bells for sinners, but only the Incarnation, the Cross, and the Resurrection!

  • Arfies

    I had seen the video and thought it interesting but not especially impressive. I lean more toward “It Came upon the Midnight Clear,” with its meaningful latter stanzas, as a good Christmas hymn. I also get a chill when Bach’s Christmas Oratorio introduces the melody that we sing on Good Friday, emphasizing what Christmas really means for Jesus and for us. No Jingle Bells for sinners, but only the Incarnation, the Cross, and the Resurrection!

  • helen

    No angels singing Alleluias! :(
    No shepherds.

    Gold, frankincense and myrhh…… and Jingle [cash register] Bells! Modern version, alright!

    I am thankful for two serious Advent services!
    An “old fashioned Christmas” instead of the third seemed odd at first, but it follows Gaudete & I’ve gotten used to it. We have a supper, (turkey’n’everything & homemade cookies for dessert). The brass choir and the bell choir play; the Pastor reads Luke 2 with all the little kids sitting on the floor around him and then we have a Christmas carol sing along. It’s nice!
    One more Advent sermon with Advent hymns and then “Blessed Christmas to all!”

  • helen

    No angels singing Alleluias! :(
    No shepherds.

    Gold, frankincense and myrhh…… and Jingle [cash register] Bells! Modern version, alright!

    I am thankful for two serious Advent services!
    An “old fashioned Christmas” instead of the third seemed odd at first, but it follows Gaudete & I’ve gotten used to it. We have a supper, (turkey’n’everything & homemade cookies for dessert). The brass choir and the bell choir play; the Pastor reads Luke 2 with all the little kids sitting on the floor around him and then we have a Christmas carol sing along. It’s nice!
    One more Advent sermon with Advent hymns and then “Blessed Christmas to all!”

  • Porcell

    The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser – in case you thought optimism was dead. ~Robert Brault

    Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute. ~Gil Stern

    A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all – he’s walking on them. ~Leonard Louis Levinson

    A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. ~Harry Truman

    Optimists are nostalgic about the future. ~Chicago Tribune

    n the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip. ~Daniel L. Reardon

    Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both. ~Oscar Wilde

    an optimist is a guy
    that has never had
    much experience.
    ~Don Marquis

    Always borrow money from a pessimist, he doesn’t expect to be paid back. ~Author Unknown

    After 5000 years of recorded human history, you wonder, What part of 2,000,000 sunrises doesn’t a pessimist understand? ~Robert Brault,

    From the Quote Garden

  • Porcell

    The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser – in case you thought optimism was dead. ~Robert Brault

    Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute. ~Gil Stern

    A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all – he’s walking on them. ~Leonard Louis Levinson

    A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. ~Harry Truman

    Optimists are nostalgic about the future. ~Chicago Tribune

    n the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip. ~Daniel L. Reardon

    Pessimist: One who, when he has the choice of two evils, chooses both. ~Oscar Wilde

    an optimist is a guy
    that has never had
    much experience.
    ~Don Marquis

    Always borrow money from a pessimist, he doesn’t expect to be paid back. ~Author Unknown

    After 5000 years of recorded human history, you wonder, What part of 2,000,000 sunrises doesn’t a pessimist understand? ~Robert Brault,

    From the Quote Garden

  • http://planetaugsburg.wordpress.com Andy Adams

    A missed opportunity was my thought. It came off the rails when they skipped over the shepherds and the angels. How could they have missed that? That was a “flash mob,” right? Shepherds texting other shepherds with grainy video they shot from their phones. Agree on the music. They were going for something upbeat, but “Jingle Bells” was silly. Why not an instrumental of Handel’s Messiah? Obviously, they did not care to make a theologically substantive video, but merely one that would get hits. A shame though, they could have done both.

  • http://planetaugsburg.wordpress.com Andy Adams

    A missed opportunity was my thought. It came off the rails when they skipped over the shepherds and the angels. How could they have missed that? That was a “flash mob,” right? Shepherds texting other shepherds with grainy video they shot from their phones. Agree on the music. They were going for something upbeat, but “Jingle Bells” was silly. Why not an instrumental of Handel’s Messiah? Obviously, they did not care to make a theologically substantive video, but merely one that would get hits. A shame though, they could have done both.

  • http://planetaugsburg.wordpress.com Andy Adams

    Here is another . . . I suspect this one may be more to the liking of the folks on this blog

  • http://planetaugsburg.wordpress.com Andy Adams

    Here is another . . . I suspect this one may be more to the liking of the folks on this blog


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