"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Let's Get Something Straight (moved)

Christmas is Jesus' birthday, not yours. I heard that quote recently, and have already forgotten who said it. But how wise it is in our gift giving and getting culture, America's insane gluttony of merchendise. Perhaps this year will be the breaking point but I doubt it. What can I say, I'm a cynic in a lot of ways.

I caught a statistic today on KDKA (news, for all you non-Pittsburghers) that twelve and a half million people are still paying off last year's Christmas debt. What is with that? Twelve and a half people used the celebration of the birth of the guy that said "give all you have to the poor because it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven" as a reason to buy so much more stuff that they can't afford that a year later they're still in debt and thinking of doing the whole darned thing over again. There's a word for that. It's a word that as a small child I was told not to use. I'm an adult now, so I'll say it. The word is STUPID. It's also sinful and disordered and rather grotesque.

So this is my motto this year, Christmas is Jesus' birthday, not yours. There's no reason for "presents to self" while you shop 'til you drop. There's no reason to shop 'til you drop, for that matter. There's no reason to expect your friends and relations to shop 'til they drop. Let them out of the obligation. After all, how many more knicknacks and doodads do you need? Instead, do something nice for the world. Give a gift to World Vision or Samaritan's Purse. Volunteer. And after its all over, if you get yet another scarf, donate it to warm the neck of someone cold. Yet another sweater can warm a homeless back.

Yup, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Please do not buy me battery powered electronic thingamobs. I don't need another whatzit on my mantel. Instead, let's share a cup of coffee and pass an hour together. I like you for you, not for your stuff. Give a gift to Jesus, and take the time to be Jesus' gift to me.

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