It’s borderline distasteful how Christmas has become so central to our country’s economic health and our individual sense of worth. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for our economy recovering and each of us finding our worth. Yet there’s something backwards about what Christmas has become. With strange familiarity, we have blended consumerism into this time of the year….in the hopes of creating a season fit for us. Like the imprints left by our boots on a fresh blanket of snow (man, if only I were in Rochester right now), the landscape of this season is being shaped by our desires and our hearts. So what do we see each year around this time?
Well, not surprisingly, economics always seems to be involved in the conversation as we try to meet deadlines, get into the black and shore up our financial holes. Christmas registers high on the priority list of anyone in business, and the shopping of this season serves as the last measuring stick they have to determine how well their businesses faired in 2012. Then, there are those Christmas gifts we’re either shopping for or anticipating. Recently, my wife and I had a conversation about the phenomenon of Christmas gift-giving. In short, it was a referendum on our souls. We noticed how quickly we were prone to fall into the trap of coveting that which we do not currently have. Or finding our identity in what we might or might not receive. Questions quickly surfaced: Why is it all about what we want? What does that reveal about our character? What is Christmas really about?
Then, when I woke up this morning, I ran across this verse. It’s a familiar one, something that I’ve memorized several years ago: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve.” (Mark 10:45). Classic words for this time of the year. What might it look like if we entered into this Christmas season as Christ entered this world? Not to be served, but to serve.
Maybe then we’ll see a season fit for the Servant-King. And maybe then, we’ll finally see a season fit for us – the way Christ calls us to love Him and love others.
Check out the Advent Conspiracy if you have the chance: Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, Love All
Partnering Organizations: Living Water International, International Justice Mission