December 19, 2010
There’s alot of talk about the celebration of Christmas, many Christians are rejecting the holidy outright, and understandably so considering all the materialism. To me, it seems that the question is not so much about whether we should celebrate the holiday, but rather HOW we should celebrate it. I think that we as Christians can have a bigger impact and witness by celebrating differently than by not celebrating at all.
I’m very thankful to a review I read about a book called the Advent Consiparcy which brought this point to my attention. The review pointed out that “the amount of money we spend on Christmas in America is 45 times the amount of money it would take to supply the entire world with clean water.” The authors go on to say “it is not enough to say ‘no’ to the way Christmas is celebrated by many . . . we need to say ‘yes’ to a different way of celebrating.” The reviewer writes “Every step we make towards consumerism is . . . one step farther from the path of Jesus the Liberating King.”
We have learned to worship with the wisemen, travelling across the world to bring the gift of ourselves–our presence, our labor, our money, our love–to the hungry, thirsty, sick people who need Jesus . . . . We can inhabit the story of a corrupt world, or we can enter the story of God through Christ.
I think the authors are right on! It seems that we can have the greatest impact by carefully choosing HOW we celebrate Christmas. What would happen if Christians across America began to use Christmas as a time for sacrificial giving, for giving to the poor, for denying themselves by leaving the warmth of the home for the heat of the battle, for forgoing traditions and precious time with family and opting for rewards that never fade instead? What would happen if Christians celebrated Christmas DIFFERENTLY? I’m still working on that one, and still applying this challenge to my own life.