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Confronting the Christmas Crazies: Cringing at Christmas

God’s good news is such good news that it will find a way to be proclaimed,
with or without our help.

It just will.
And, sometimes that makes me cringe.

Not because good news is proclaimed, but because sometimes it is the broken and (presumably) secular world around the church that does the best preaching!

R.E.I. (one of the nation’s leading specialty outdoors retailers) recently announced a pretty radical decision. They will not open their stores on Black Friday…at all.

That’s right. All 143 stores will be closed on Black Friday, the one day of the year when retailers stand to make a killing from frantic holiday shoppers eager to grab all the best deals. On that day, the company will pay all 12,000 employees to spend time with their families. Their #OptOutside campaign is designed to encourage (and empower) their employees to do something counter-cultural; to resist the life-taking vortex of consumer chaos, and choose to spend the day outside, renewing.

Ok, so maybe it’s simply an ingenious marketing strategy. If it is, then it is working.
The first thing I wanted to do when I read about this creative move was shop there!
Even so, I hear in their announcement a not-so-subtle call to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

Sometimes the line between secular and sacred blurs.

Why?
Because God’s good news is such good news it will find a way to be proclaimed,
with or without our help.

Theirs are not the only feet “beautiful” with the bringing of good news. (Isaiah 52:7).
Did you catch the newest Ikea commercial? It’s called, “The Other Letter.”

Here it is, in case you missed it. But be warned: you’ll need a hanky.

Premise: Kids are asked to write a letter to Santa, telling him what they wanted for Christmas. No problem. Lists looked like you might imagine. A game. A guitar. A Wii. A piano.

But after the letters are folded and sealed, the kids are asked to write a second letter. This one, to their parents, asking what they wanted from them this Christmas.

That list was different. “I want us to spend more time together, doing experiments at home.” “I’d like you to pay more attention to me.” “I’d like you to eat dinner with us more often.” “I want you to tickle me.” “I’d like to spend one whole day together.” “I want us to play soccer together.”

Go ahead. Take a moment.
Ok. Better?

Well, the commercial doesn’t end there. The children are asked; if they could only send one of their letters, which one would they send: the one to Santa, or the one to their parents?

You guessed it. They all chose to send the letter to their parents, asking them for the deeper and more precious gift of their presence.

Ikea!

God’s good news is such good news it will find a way to be proclaimed,
with or without our help.

This message is ours to share. The Advent season, which begins in just a few weeks, is a time in which the church calls itself and the world around us to hear and receive “good news of great joy.” (Luke 2:10)

But in order to be good stewards of that message, it will take some work. So much of how we do the holidays runs counter to the very message of Christmas. Whether it is the unbridled consumerism; the frenzied pace of way too many things to do; people to see; or stuff to buy; we need help remembering and focusing on what this season is intended to mean and to do in our lives.

That is why I invite you and your family to join me tonight in the Heritage Room at 6:00 p.m. for a special 3 part series entitled: Confronting the Christmas Crazies: Practical Tips for Navigating the Holidays.
Over the course of these three weeks, we will discuss the challenges that we sometimes face during the holidays and will explore practical ways for families to enter the story of Christmas like never before.

I hope you will join us.

Shaun King
Senior Pastor
Johns Creek Baptist Church

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Marsha Hunter
    November 4, 2015 9:11 pm

    It is no surprise children want the most precious gift a parent can give – themselves – their time, their undivided attention, and their love. Giving of themselves bring such joy and demonstrates how valuable they are to their parent. The same joy God demonstrates to us when He says He wants time with us on a regular basis!
    The second commandment from Mark 12 says it – love others as you would love yourself. God’s golden rule! He knows us so well and knows what brings joy!

    Reply

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