And I thought God GAVE his Son…

For God so loved the world, he gave sold His only begotten son Nintendo Wii… What??? I’m not a Walmart hater, but their latest commercial sums up the season in a single phrase:

Christmas costs less at Walmart

Only this year it cost one 34 year old man his life (read more about that here).  Every year I rail against the commercialization of Christmas, this year is no different.  Do we really need to “Buy Christmas”???  How much money have you spent on Christmas?  How much of that did you put on a credit card?  How much of your current credit card balances are from last Christmas?  Don’t tell me the economy is bad – Black Friday sales were up over 3% over last year, that’s over 10.5 BILLION in sales! (click here for source)

People say that Christmas is the season of giving, but that’s not what their actions declare – its the season of getting.  We get things for our family, we get things for our friends, we get things for ourselves, but we don’t give.  I’ve said this before and gotten many comments from people who disagree with me, mostly in the defense of their ‘gift giving’ habits – but I still believe we treat Christmas the same way we treat Halloween – no religious purpose, no religious intent, just another vacation day with a theme.

The funny thing is, people who refuse to celebrate Halloween are treated as religious zealots, and people that don’t celebrate Santa as part of their Christmas tradition, as bad parents.  My pastor talked about living in a Kingdom Culture this morning – a culture that fosters the Gospel.  As I look at the American culture, I see that we have so completely bought into the idea of a secular public life and a private religious life – a kind of separation of Church and State, with state being any area of our life outside of the four walls of our church.

I don’t really mind how we celebrate Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, or Thanksgiving.  I couldn’t care less how you celebrate President’s Day or New Year’s Eve.  But we seem for forget that as Christians, in the mix of historic dates and important celebrations, we have two truly Holy Day’s, Resurrection Sunday and Christmas.  When Easter is about bunnies and chocolate, Christmas about Santa and electronics – we’ve all but abandoned our faith.

A good friend of mine once preached a sermon titled “When Worlds Colloid”.  The point as I remember it was to tear down the walls of seperation keeping our faith from the rest of our life; a message that I think belongs in our pulpits this time of year more than any.  How many of those stampeding Walmart shoppers were Christians?  How many of them were living in the American Culture instead of the Kindom Culture?  Lets just hope they all got the door buster deals they were praying for – we all know that Christmas costs less at Walmart.

Happy Hanukkah!

3 thoughts on “And I thought God GAVE his Son…

  1. Pingback: » Sackrider.org » Blog Archive » And I thought God GAVE his Son…

  2. Jason

    I can’t agree more with you even though my own actions don’t match the beliefs I wish I held. I am disappointed every year when Christmas comes around. My wife was almost scolded by my sister-in-law because she explained that we don’t “do Santa like that” Heather’s mom was telling our daughter that if she didn’t eat Santa wouldn’t come. Not only is that a threat she is NEVER EVER going to follow through with IMAO it teaches a doctrine of works. Christmas is about the gift of God’s son, one we didn’t have to work to deserve and couldn’t have deserved it even if we tried. OK I will quit and get back to posting this on my own blog :-)

  3. Donella

    Very nicely said! And you are so right about people looking weird at parents who don’t do “santa” . It came up in conversation with my family about Donnabella and Santa and how do we plan on ‘doing the Santa thing’ and everyone got in a huff when I said we won’t ‘do Santa’. I want to teach Donnabella the true meaning of Christmas. I will teach her about there was a guy called Nicholas (i.e. St. Nicholas) and his story of giving during Christmas and the reason why he did was because of Christ. I think we might even do a Happy Birthday Jesus party with cake and song too! We’ll read the birth narrative and have a blessed good time! I realize to some that may be kooky but I think it will help get the point across- esp going to church for Christmas since being Catholic things are more solemn than usual on Christmas and Easter.

    Ah, can’t wait for the phone calls from other parents who ‘got Santa ruined’ for them because Donnabella told their kids the truth! I’ll be like “so you are mad at me because I tell my kid the truth and you lie to yours?”

    And by the way, we won’t be doing Easter bunny or tooth fairy either.

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