Gentle Fudge
religion, politics, current events, and other fashionable dinner conversation.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
'Tis the Season
Much to catch up on from the past month. Walmart putting the Christmas back in the Holiday Season. Mary Cheney and partner Heather Poe are expecting their first child. Britney Spears being, well, Britney. Pastor Mark Driscoll saying some unkind things about women of the church.

But my house is all decked out with Christmas cheer, so my thoughts turn to the season. And the endless commercialism that accompanies it. That begins in September. Or May, if you're in receiving in the retail field.

Let's not kid ourselves; Christmas has become a very secular holiday. Well, the winter solstice and Yule were secular to begin with, but I'm not going to give a history lesson here. I enjoy hearing people wish each other a Merry Christmas whether or not they live the teachings of Christ. I like seeing people put themselves aside for a short time and give to others. And I enjoy the overall good nature that the season brings out in mankind. Happy ChristmaHannuKwanzikah.

What gets me is when commercialism begins to leech its way into the ground water. On a post on the Out of Ur blog, I read about a contest for pastors. SermonCentral was sponsoring a sweepstakes to promote the movie The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The winner would receive two tickets to London, England, along with $1000 spending money. Of course, keeping with the theme, you also get to tour Holy Trinity Church where C.S. Lewis attended. Just submit a qualifying Narnia-related sermon and "you may have already won!"

I have nothing against C.S. Lewis' writings. I loved reading the fantastical stories as a kid. Fond memories. I'm sure the movie was well done, too. And I have nothing against pastors using pop culture or modern methods of preaching. There just seems something sacrilegious when we start viewing souls as for-profit. Makes me wanna start flippin' tables.

Christmas is another time of year that pastors love to bring out the big guns. Many people attend church twice a year -- Christmas and Easter -- and we know it. We want a packed house and a show-stopping dazzler of a service. That'll get 'em hooked, we think.
But it's more than just product placement, corporate partnerships, or pumping our money into seemingly xtian cows. Our goal should be transformation, not settling as a poster child for the xtian community with deep pockets of cash and a desire to accessorize. Body count should not be on the top of the list.

I've participated in traditional and contemporary services, heard countless debates on the use of Christmas vs. Xmas vs. Cmas, Santa vs. Satan, and all the rest of the religious nonsensical garbage. And, after I quit retail many moons ago and regained some lost Christmas cheer, I will get caught up in the rites of the season.
Then I remind myself, this isn't about me. This isn't about rockin' music or light gels or the small forest of poinsettia plants or pine-scented ladies' rooms or candle wax dripping from a six-year-old's wriggly grip. It's fun, sure. It creates a unique experience, yes. I honestly love it; I get plenty out of ambiance. What keeps me centered is the classic story, that G-d came to earth as a baby, to learn from us, to live among us, to touch us, to love us as we were and as we are and as we will be. This is about a story of sacrifice; the greatest gift of love that a G-d could have. This is about the birth of a revolutionary; the prelude to Calvary.

My Christmas wish is for us to re-focus on what is important, what is fluff, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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posted by Sara @ 8:45 PM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Sara
Home: gypsy wanderer, United States
About Me: Those who know me find me stubborn, opinionated, open-minded, strong-willed, of some intelligence, and yet they still hang around.
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Love God. Love all. Serve both.

There is wisdom in turning as often as possible from the familiar to the unfamiliar: it keeps the mind nimble, it kills prejudice, and it fosters humor. -George Santayana, philosopher (1863-1952)

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