As I write this post, we’ve just got through another Black Friday. Even as the global economy’s sliding into the abyss of financial Hell for years to come, we still hear the exhortation to buy. If you stepped out of your house today, you saw store parking lots full of cars. People waiting in long lines to get into some store for some “sale”. There were stories of people camping out for days in anticipation of Black Friday specials. There are stores that started their sales the night before on Thanksgiving!
I’m amazed at our commercialization of what is commonly called Christmas. An originally Pagan observance that was Christianized and absorbed by the Church, Christmas is now big business. Stores-both physical and online-are tallying up their receipts in hopes that Black Friday was a success for the economy. TV and movies are gearing up their Holiday offerings in hopes to pull in viewers and sponsors. Eateries, catering halls, bars and nightclubs are looking for the party crowd to add to their coffers as well.
If you look at what’s going on, you see people escaping through the Christmas season: spending money they don’t have; eating and drinking like there’s no tomorrow; and watching TV specials that celebrate Christmases of days gone by. We also give lip service to “Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men” while waging two wars, widening the gap between rich and poor, and the mean-spirited attitude pervading our culture.
And the church as well. We coo over the baby Jesus, although he never told us to celebrate his birthday, and that the birth accounts are just myths rehashed from Pagan sources, designed to deify Jesus (something else he never told us to do). You see the mangers, the “Keep Christ in Christmas” slogans, and the endless “Christmas fetishes” in the public square designed to shove American X-tianity down folks’ throats. We never take time to learn of the man Jesus and what he taught. I believe that Jesus would be greatly disturbed by Christmas.
It’s that time again. Maybe it’s time to walk away from Christmas and all it stands for; and instead embrace the Christ and what he stood for.
Peace (on Earth)!