Walter Russell Mead’s Yule Blog has been a Christmas tradition since The American Interest’s “Via Meadia” blog first published it for the 2009–10 Christmastide. This wonderful, if sometimes laid-aside, season in the Christian calendar runs from Christmas Eve to Epiphany (January 6). Mead’s “Twelvetide” reflections have shepherded many into remembering not just the history but the meaning of Christmas and the Yuletide season.
Providence is thrilled to host the Yule Blog for a third year. Such excitement is appropriate. As Walter writes, “Christianity is the living force behind American liberal ideology as well as American conservativism.”
Providence understands that as we let go of the meaning of Christmas, we deracinate ourselves from our collective memory of Christendom, and thereby such virtues as “humility, forbearance, honesty, and tolerance begin to fade from our common life.” The loss of such Christian memory bodes ill for our republic, and what bodes ill for our republic bodes ill for the world.
May these Yuletide reflections be a rock against such forgetfulness and a goad to the quickening of faith, hope, and love—both at home and far abroad. Merry Christmas!
Church calendars mark December 28 as Holy Innocents’ Day, the day we remember the deaths of the babies in Bethlehem who were murdered at Herod’s command.
Walter Russell MeadDecember 28, 2022
Conventional manger scenes don’t show it, but besides the ox, the ass, the sheep, and the camels, there was another animal in the room at Christmas: an elephant. And the elephant in the room was the idea that Jesus’ mother was a virgin when He was born.
Walter Russell MeadDecember 27, 2022
The documentary sources for the Christmas story are pretty good by the standards of the ancient world, but are few and short by the standards of our time.
Walter Russell MeadDecember 26, 2022
There’s an old family custom that when two friends or relations greet one another on Christmas morning, the first one who says “Christmas gift!” gets to select one of the other person’s presents.
Walter Russell MeadDecember 25, 2022
The stockings are hung by the chimney with care at the ancestral Mead mansion; and as I settle down for a long winter’s rest, I am taking a break from politics and war, sort of, to yet another run of our good old-fashioned Yuletide blog.
Walter Russell MeadDecember 24, 2022
Christmas is important to Christians because from their point of view the Baby Jesus is the meaning of Christmas, and the meaning of Christmas is the meaning of life.
Walter Russell MeadJanuary 6, 2022
History turned a corner with the birth of Jesus Christ, and while the written reports of that event don’t tell me everything I want to know, they do tell me everything I need. The Gospels occupy a kind of center point in human culture as a whole: products of a particular time and place, but comprehensible to all.
Walter Russell MeadJanuary 5, 2022
If we leave religion out of our national conversation, we end up with a vapid conversation that doesn’t address the deepest realities that move most of the people in this country.
Walter Russell MeadJanuary 4, 2022
To get any insight at all into what Jesus’ childhood and upbringing were like, you have to do something that sometimes makes Protestants uncomfortable: study Mary.
Walter Russell MeadJanuary 3, 2022