Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It's that time of year . . .

Poinsettias by Brian Davis Online . . when the world falls in love, or at least that's what the song says. But it is also the time of Advent, a time when Christians look back to the first coming of Jesus and forward to His second coming.

Sometimes it is hard to find Jesus in our modern culture. The vortex of consumerism seems to have swallowed Him.

In my neighborhood, some folks have put up their Christmas decorations. They have these blow-up things you might have seen, including a snow globe with Santa and a reindeer, a blow-up Abominable Snowman from Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, a blow-up Santa, an archway of lights, and another blow-up snowman (I don't know if it's Frosty or not; it's a snowman). And their house is covered in lights and I imagine their electric bill is probably going to inflate this month.

But one thing -- or one person -- who is missing from the festivities is Jesus. It's not that He is in the corner somewhere, in the K-Mart Plastic Nativity, He's not there at all. And I found myself asking "Where's Jesus!?"

I don't want to sound like some kind of killjoy. I just noticed that He was nowhere to be found. And I wondered, if He were born today, would anyone still seek Him? Would the astrologers of our day (the Magi of ancient times) look for Him or would they be somewhere else. Would the ruling power even care that a baby had been born in a stable?Christmas box by Darren Hester Online

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend $439.5 billion this year, with consumers spending on average more than $700. On so-called Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, the average shopper spent $302.81, bringing total weekend spending to $27.8 billion!

Don't think me a Scrooge, but man that's a lot of dough! And it is not even December. Contrast that with a man who was so poor and plain that He could move through a crowd and not be recognized. His garment was hand made by His mother and His meals were most often barley cake, fish and maybe some wine. But wrapped in that plain human body was the Creator of the Universe. The one who spun the stars and spoke the oceans into being made Himself of no report and washed the feet of firshermen. And in that human form he suffered a death that few of us could imagine. But thanks be to God He didn't stay in the grave. On the third day His Majesty was made manifest.

So in the midst of the much-many-noise-hurry-crowd world where we are bombarded with images to make us buy things we do not need with money we do not have, let's remember to look for the real "reason for the season," Jesus Christ.

No comments: