There’s this one group of Christians that want to put “Christ” back into Christmas, and then there’s this other group that wants to put the “Vent” back into Advent. You know who I’m talking about. The ones who get all outraged that we’re singing Christmas carols instead of minor key antiphons that no one has ever heard. The twelve days of Christmas start on Christmas Day, people! Come on! And while we’re adding vent back to Advent, what’s the deal with Magi at the nativity? You better be keeping those little figures and their camels hiding somewhere with your creepy little Elf on the Shelf…moving them a little closer to the baby Jesus every day until January 6.
Charles Wesley had his own little vent session about his most popular hymn, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! Mostly, he was mad that the song didn’t really become popular until George Whitefield changed the lyrics from “Hark! How all the welkin rings!” an archaic term for “sky or heaven.” Whitefield changed several lyrics to the song, and Wesley refused to sing any version but his original lyrics, arguing that the scripture never said the “angels sing.” Learn more about the progression of the hymn here.
I like to think these venting Christians believe themselves to be channeling the spirit of John the Baptist, bravely calling out the broods of vipers with their sentimentalism and consumerism and total disregard for the precious liturgical calendar (PURCHASE YOURS NOW BEFORE THEY’RE SOLD OUT!) that the sweet baby Jesus in a manger himself lived by. You go, ad-vent-ing Christians! Go right to my store and buy that Liturgical Calendar before they’re sold out!
As we conclude one Christian Year and start a new one this week, I am so thankful for the incredible Wesley Bros Comics audience. You guys have made this work a joy to me. I love getting your emails and comments. I love hearing how you’re using the Bros in your setting. I love getting sucked into weird theological conversations over nit-picky things. I love hearing how you are discovering a new-found love for theology or church history. You are the reason I do this comic, and I’m am truly blessed that each of you share my ridiculous niche of church history humor.
Please consider becoming a patron of Wesley Bros at patreon.com. For as little as $1 a month (that’s 25 cents a comic!), you can help sustain this crazy endeavor that I do completely outside of my job as a full-time pastor, father of a pre-schooler and first-grader, and husband to an incredible nursing student. Patrons get some exclusive content not shared anywhere else, and occasionally patrons over $3/month might even get some free merch from me!