Rev. Dr. Chuck Moffett
How easy and politically correct it would be for me to use this space to decry the commercialization of Christmas. Is that not what every Christian pastor is expected to do?! No doubt, the carols and commercials begin earlier every year. Perhaps it would not be so offensive if we knew the motivation was to encourage a spirit of giving to all, instead of just moving the profit line into the black.
What concerns me more is the subtle erosion of values taking place: the subtle nuance that God has been demoted to the rank of Santa Claus. We know he is checking his list twice, so maybe if we hurry up and buy the right present, plan the perfect party, win the prize for the best decorated house in the neighborhood we can count on pleasing Santa, or the Homeowners Association, so we won’t get lumps of coal in our stockings. Is that not our hidden hope in all our festivities: to make others think well of us? Maybe if we are lucky we will please God along the way.
I offer that the real message of the season is the exact opposite: God is the great gift-giver of unconditional love to each of us.
No present, regardless of how lavish; No decoration, regardless of how beautiful; No party, regardless of how plentiful, will win God’s favor. We need not try to impress God.
The amazing truth, which is proclaimed and celebrated in this season, is to live in humble gratitude for God’s free gift of grace.
AHA! That means that all of our gifts to others are not given to impress, but are given as our simple and humble response to God’s love of us! YEAH!