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.