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Americans have gone crazy this Christmas

December 2, 2008

Here is a post that my husband wrote after we saw a news report of a security guard being trampled & killed by people trying to get into a Wal-mart to buy Christmas gifts. Instead of trying to write on this, I decided to just post what he wrote.  He said all that I wanted to say & much better anyway.

 

Scott wrote

Alright, the title is strong, but after you read the story you will understand.  Of course not all of us are crazy over Christmas, but I would say the majority are.  For Christians, this time of year should hold a very special meaning for us, but does it really for all the right reasons?

I watched and listened to a news report this afternoon about a security guard who was trampled to death in a Walmart in America this morning.  A group of about 2000 people rushed the store this morning wanting in and the most popular item was TVs.  I could not believe this actually happened. 

Folks, our materialistic society that has been produced over the past 100 years is now coming full circle.  People so obsessed with “things” killed a 34 year old man storming a Walmart for TVs!  Can you believe this?  People we must return to our forefathers way of thinking and living.  Money is something you need to eat, keep a roof over your head, provide for your kids and grandkids, and possibly help out a neighbor that has fallen on hard times.  Our grandparents put the money aside…you would have never experienced them storming a store for any item with the exception of food.  Our grandparents saved their money, paid their bills, and did not run up debt.  What is wrong with the TV you have?  What is wrong with going without a TV for a while? 

Ok, stay with me folks for just a moment more.  Christmas has always been taught as a celebration for Jesus’ birthday, right?  For the past 50 years, Christmas has had very little to do with Jesus or His birthday.  Sure, He gets a token prayer here and there, or maybe a nativity scene put up in people tradition with little acknowledgment to what it meant.   As Christians, we need to stop dead in our tracks today before we move forward in a pagan society acting as they do, going into debt as they do, buying things we really don’t need as they do, serving no one but ourselves and our family.  These thoughts have been floating around in my head for days, but the fact that a human being was killed this morning trying to do his job at Walmart because selfish people trampled him, just boiled these comments and thoughts to the forefront this afternoon.

Here are some thoughts from John MacArthur about questioning our typical American Christmas:

“Questioning the typical Christmas celebration isn’t unreasonable.  After all, mistletoe, holly, Yule logs and ivy were all ancient, pagan symbols.  Even the date we celebrate Christmas does not originate from Scripture, but rather is tied to an ancient pagan Roman holiday honoring winter – not the person of Christ.

Then there’s the insane, commerce-driven, marketing machine that gets cranked up earlier and earlier every year.  It’s no secret that secular culture continues to use Christmas as a vehicle to drive a shameful celebration of the worst kinds of self-indulgences and materialism.  Even the more refined aspects of our culture’s Christmas traditions are often little more than sappy sentimentalism.  You’re not alone if you wonder if we’re doing the right thing in our celebrations with our families, friends and churches.

Over the next few months you’ll hear many attempts to justify all the indulgence, wtih much said about the “real meaning of Christmas.”  Unfortunately, almost none of it will focus on the birth of CHrist or the reason for His incarnation.  And what little does focus on Christ, is such a tiny part, that it’s overshadowed by the massive emphasis the rest of the time on decidedly un-Christ like behavior and practices!  At best, the “Christmas” emphasis becomes peace, sharing, family, togetherness, or some other humanistic value.  Those values aren’t wrong, of course, but considered apart from the incaranation of Christ, they have nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas.”

Now, here is the dilema.  We as Believers have an opportunity to show those around us who Christ is and what He is about.  Gorging ourselves on a steady diet of “things” especially at Christmas does not show anyone who Christ is.  I am as guilty as anyone in years past for over spending on gifts to my kids and other family members….but, in the past few years we have been pulling back the reigns to get Christmas back into focus as who the “Holy-Day” is suppose to be about.  The world needs to see that we as Believers are more about celebrating Christ coming to earth, dying for our sins, and defeating death to rise again.  It is hard to put into words the disgust I have right now with this retail-Christmas.  This borders on blasphemy to the name of Christ in what this holiday has become, but I will not go that far…yet.

I want to share an eye opening short story by an unknown author concerning Christ birth:

Mary’s Dream

author unknown

“I had a dream, Joseph. I don’t understand it, not really, but I think it was about a birthday celebration for our son. I think that was what it was all about. The people had been preparing for it for about six weeks. They had decorated the house and bought new clothes. They’d gone shopping many times and bought elaborate gifts.

It was peculiar, though, because the presents weren’t for our son. They wrapped them in beautiful paper and tied them with lovely bows and stacked them under a tree. Yes, a tree, Joseph, right in their house. They’d decorated the tree also. The branches were full of glowing balls and sparkling ornaments. There was a figure on the top of the tree. It looked like an angel might look. Oh, it was beautiful.

Everyone was laughing and happy. They were all excited about the gifts. They gave the gifts to each other, Joseph, not to our son. I don’t think they even knew him. They never mentioned his name. Doesn’t it seem odd for people to go to all that trouble to celebrate someone’s birthday if they don’t know him? I had the strangest feeling that if our son had gone to this celebration he would have been intruding.

Everything was so beautiful, Joseph, and everyone so full of cheer, but it made me want to cry. How sad for Jesus – not to be wanted at his own birthday celebration. I’m glad it was only a dream. How terrible, Joseph, if it had been real. “

So, I will leave us with the thought here out of 2 Corinthians 6:14-15,17:

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?  What does a Believer have in common with an unbeliever?  Therefore, come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.  Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

 

I am not saying don’t celebrate Christmas, however, when or if you do this year, keep the focus on Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord…all of it.  Give something to Him first and foremost…take nothing away from Him.  Make each get-to-gether a celebration honoring the Lord above all others.  Keep Christ on every breath you take…in every prayer uttered.  This can be the most memorable Christmas your family has ever experienced if we would all cut down on the spending for ourselves and make a tremendous increase in the honor and celebration of Jesus as Lord.  If you want to spend, help someone that needs your help and cannot help themselves.  Invite someone over this year for a Christmas meal that you would not normally invite over.  Give someone some clothes that really needs clothes.  Serve at a homeless shelter, food line or something of this kind.  This is the real Christmas story if we get right down to it.  Being about the Fathers work has nothing to do with us and especially us getting “things”.  Take time out to explore the Scriptures thoroughly for who Christ is, who our God is, what is it that our heavenly Father really wants from us, what this life is really all about.  We need clothes, food, shelter, possibly medical attention, and transportation…everything else is really wants more than needs.  I encourage you to get out of a small section of the New Testament and explore the entire Bible…this is the only way you will understand just how BIG our God really is this Holy season.

Merry Christmas to all of you…may the Lord richly bless your efforts to know Him better this holiday season.

 

(c) Scott Bailey 2008

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2008 1:36 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly. I love the way we celebrate Christmas, because we really pray and talk about Jesus even more than usual. We like to give and help people, too. It’s so wonderful to have something to give this year!

    Love,
    Penney

  2. Tammy permalink
    May 2, 2009 9:01 am

    People seem to only care about acquiring “things”, they want to be the first to get, get, get! You know these people too, your neighbors that just sem to know everything you have, the ones that say “see you went shopping the other day?” or “oh look its so and so in his new car” they are ENVIOUS and GREEDY, my own neighbors and their children know every persons schedule and cars…I never understand it.. I could care less about who has what as long as my family and I are relatively happy and have what we need to survive and possibly some entertainment, we are good. I am not what you may call a “good” christian because I never go to church and haven’t read the bible in years, and I am more of an earthy person, maybe even a pagan! But I don’t think this disease of greed has anything to do with religon.. Its a worldwide epidemic of a cult called consumerism. Its the fault of the mass marketing and advertisments, that lure these greedy people to do terrible things. That whole keeping up with the Joneses, and trying to be the first and all that, you know? Living in denial will undoubtedly let the ones who MURDERED this human being sleep at night, and they will never admit what they did. Its sickening and I hope there is a hell for them to go to. But unfortunately unless you are in hell yourself you will never know that they got what they deserved.
    They should go through the walmart security and computers and question every customer who was in that store until they closed it! If you don’t know you are killing someone under your own feet then you should not be driving a car! Let alone be allowed to act and live a normal life! I don’t ever want to understand the pain that the family must have gone through. Pray for judgement.

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