Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas Insanity

Why are we running around like a bunch of lunatics?? What's the point?


OK people, let’s just stop it right here; I mean the entire maniacal pre-Christmas hubbub that’s going on. This is supposed to be the season to be jolly. I don't think being trampled and pepper sprayed by some crazed maniac trying to be the first one in the door of Walmart is very jolly!

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like Christmas per se but rather the conspicuous consumption that accompanies what is supposed to be the recognition of the birth of our Lord and Savior. Over the years, I’ve read and heard many people complaining about the “commercialization” of the holiday. This article will touch on that but I want to take it a few steps further.

For instance, “Black Friday”, when the retailers hope we as consumers are foolish enough to be at their doors at 5 AM to be the first to get the so-called “bargains”, therefore propelling the store’s balance sheets into the black or profitable side of the ledger.

There is absolutely nothing I want to buy bad enough to roll out of bed before the sun is up, stand in the cold to peer lustily at merchandise through the store window until said store opens for business. So much for, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

NOW the stores are opening up on Thanksgiving Day! I mean really! Madison Avenue needs a swift kick in the pants if you ask me. This year, some of these stores had the audacity to start putting out Christmas decorations in October, before Halloween! Why don’t they just cut to the chase and leave them up all year. Yes, that way, on any given day we choose, we can all careen about the aisles in a mindless frenzy buying up meaningless stuff that will end up in the basement or chosen to be re-gifted, just because it was “on sale.”

Forgive my attitude. I am not a Scrooge. I love giving gifts to my son and seeing the delight on his face. However, I am appalled at the way the American public, including we Christians, get caught up in a manufactured holiday.

You did realize, did you not, that no where in the Bible are we commanded to celebrate the event of Christ’s birth. I personally don’t have a problem recognizing the occasion, keeping in mind that some nameless person long ago arbitrarily picked December 25th to be the date on which we celebrate. Let’s pause a moment to think about what this is supposed to be about in the first place.

The God of the universe; the Word; the great “I AM”; the Creator, put on skin to live among mankind just to experience what it was like from our end. He didn’t have to do that. The Bible says He humbled Himself. Humbled doesn’t sound right to me. It’s more like He demeaned, degraded, demoted and lowered Himself to the filthy, sin-filled, wretched world we perverted. Stop and consider what that meant to Him personally.

He volunteered to leave the indescribable beauty and glory of heaven, not to mention, for lack of a better term, the face to face company of the Father and Spirit, knowing the culmination of the visit would be in an agonizing death while bearing the sin of mankind for all time.

Can you imagine what He must have thought of us at times? The patience He demonstrated, not only with His disciples, but with folks in general was astounding! Here He was, the Creator God, allowing the impotent, arrogant creatures he designed to argue with Him, ridicule Him, spit and beat on Him, mock and deny His deity and finally, to torture him to death. He allowed it all because of His unfathomable desire to reconcile mankind to Himself so that we can be in relationship with Him forever. Thats why it's called "the greatest story ever told."

Christmas, to me, is the quiet, reverent, candle-light opportunity to partake of what the Bible does ask us to celebrate- communion; the symbolic taking of His body and shed blood. The fact that that precious body started out in the form of a helpless, humble newborn instead of an already full grown king only makes it sweeter.

Thank you, but you can keep your gifts. I’ve already been given the most perfect present I’ll ever receive. What more could I possibly wish for? Merry Christmas everyone.

DW

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