Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So this is Christmas

John Lennon wrote a little song called “ Happy Christmas” in 1971, and I like the lyrics. Now, while I appreciate the Beatles, I am not the biggest fan. And though most of Lennon’s later songs were a little too “hippie” for me, this song resonates with me. The song goes:

And so this is Christmas

For weak and for strong

For rich and the poor ones

The world is so wrong

I put a challenging question on a few social networking sites this week and got an interesting response. The question: “Was Jesus born to free us from sin and enslave us in consumer debt because of his birthday? It started a debate on the date of Jesus’ actual birthday rather than the larger issue of debt as a result of the holiday. I think it’s because many people are not willing to curtail their spending.

I honestly don’t believe that it’s Jesus’ goal for people to amass large amounts of consumer debt in His name. The reality is that in this economy people don’t have the money to spend a large amount of money on gifts, but as the black Friday rush indicates, most people will continue with Christmas as usual. To that I agree with Lennon in that the world is so wrong.

Many people could get no Christmas presents under their trees, and it would not affect their standard of living one bit. We don’t need others to charge up their credit cards in an effort to make us feel more loved by them. So this is Christmas? Most people can barely remember what they got last year for Christmas, not to mention who gave it to them.

It is a shame that we have reduced this holiday to such a low state. This is the one time a year that the world turns their attention to Christ. Why not make this season about Him and not about regret or guilt over spending money we don’t have, for gifts people don’t need. That does not mean that we can’t give gifts because Jesus was the greatest present the world has ever known. But, how about giving what we can, and making no excuses for what we can’t. Let’s make Christmas about Jesus.