According to a recent BreakPoint article by Eric Metaxas, a new survey of Americans found that 45 percent would rather skip Christmas this year claiming they don’t have enough money to celebrate the holiday!
Times are tough and the economy is soft, but does it really all come down to dollars?
Ruth Haley Barton, in an Advent devotional, describes people feeling the pull of Black Friday and stores opening earlier. They didn’t want to leave family gatherings early but didn’t want to risk missing out on great bargains.
“You have to have these things to enjoy your children and your family…It shouldn’t be that way but in a sense there’s no way around it. Everything ends up with a dollar amount. Even your happiness.”
Maybe it does all come down to the dollars! Maybe it is all about the stuff! Maybe we should skip Christmas!
Or maybe not…
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor during WWII. Because he strongly and openly opposed Hitler and the Nazi regime he spent two years in prison and was executed just days before the end of the war. This excerpt is from a letter written to his fiancée Maria von Wedemeyer, December 1, 1943.
I think we’re going to have an exceptionally good Christmas. The very fact that every outward circumstance precludes our making provision for it will show whether we can be content with what is truly essential. I used to be very fond of thinking up and buying presents, but now that we have nothing to give, the gift God gave us in the birth of Christ will seem all the more glorious; the emptier our hands, the better we understand what Luther meant by his dying words: “We’re beggars; it’s true.” The poorer our quarters, the more clearly we perceive that our hearts should be Christ’s home on earth. ~ From Love Letters from Cell 92
While many today expect a lackluster Christmas due to not enough stuff, Bonhoeffer sat alone in a prison cell expecting a glorious Christmas because of no stuff. He understood that the absence of material things would make more room in his heart for God and the gift of the Christ child come to earth.
So what will it be, skip Christmas or create space for God to make it something extra special?
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.