Sunday, December 4, 2011

Spend Less 1 - Luke 2:1-7

Luke 2:1-7

When we think about Christmas what first comes to mind isn't necessarily the Christ-child. Rather, we often think about presents wrapped and waiting under a decorated tree and stockings filled to the brim with goodies and surprises.

How did we get from the first Christmas when the Savior of the world was born in a barn and placed in a trough for his bed to where we are today where it is common to take out a loan from the bank or rack up debt on a credit card in order to buy mountains of presents for people in our lives?

When did Christmas become less a reason to celebrate God's incarnation into our world and lives to save us and more a reason to go out and spend money on things we don't really need?

Think of all the need in the world and all the money that we spend on our families at Christmas. Wouldn't some of that money be better spent helping strangers who are hungry, cold, and uneducated? People who can't turn on a faucet to get water that won't make them or their children ill? People who have curable diseases and sicknesses who can't afford to get the medicine to save themselves or their family members?

What if we all spent less on ourselves and our loved ones this Christmas and gave more to people who really need what we can provide for them?

It seems to me that if we all chose to give at least one less gift to people we know and used that money to help someone in need, that would truly be honoring the meaning of Christmas: the celebration of God's gift of life to each of us through the birth of Jesus.

Father God, forgive us for not remembering what Christmas is really about. Help us to know the true meaning of Christmas and to orient ourselves towards you in this Advent season. Amen.