Reverend Pat Bailey: The real "magic" of Christmas, a short series

Reverend Pat Bailey: The real "magic" of Christmas, a short series

[click “Play” to hear the first of Rev. Bailey’s interviews]


Rev. Pat Bailey

Since Thanksgiving, Christmas has been top of mind, top of media, injecting mistletoe (and for some, holiday misgivings) into the bubble we call Telluride.

Turn on any TV and holiday chestnuts such as “It’s a Wonderful Life” light up the screen. (And give the cynics in the crowd a seasonal toothache.) The glossies are packed with gift ideas, recipes for the holidays, what to wear, some intrepid souls even tackling what to believe about Christmas. Several years ago, both Newsweek and Time featured cover stories about the First Noel, articles that raised controversial questions about the Nativity: Who were the Wise Men? What about the star? Is it possible Jesus was born in Nazareth? Who exactly were the two Marys?

Christmas is surely a good deal more than buy, cry, fry, wonder what and why.

Telluride Inside… and Out has asked local religious leader, Reverend Pat Bailey, of Telluride’s Christ Presbyterian Church, to shed some light on the subject of Christmas, it’s meaning and real magic.

These are subjects Pat is uniquely qualified to tackle: he holds a masters degree in comparative religion (and is working on a Doctor of Ministry in the subject.) Until his retirement from the military in 2008, he taught world religions at the Defense Language Institute.

In November, Christ Church’s adult education forum, “Faith and Reason,” viewed  videos made by Bishop John Shelby Spong. In his “The Magic of Myth,” Spong discusses the power of the Christmas stories to speak deeply to our human experience when we move beyond literal interpretations. (Spong, according to Pat, is an outspoken Episcopal bishop for non-literal and non-supernatural Christianity. One of his most popular books is “Why Christianity Must Change or Die.”)

Picking up the Spong thread, the first question we ask Pat Bailey to explore is this: How do we read the Christmas stories, as literal history or as mythology? What is the real magic of Christmas?

For answers, click the “play” button and listen to Pat’s words of wisdom.

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