Dear Bill O’Reilly: there is no war on Christmas. It is alive and well, and ‘merica spent the first $60 BILLION of it on Black Friday Weekend. (That’s now a thing–not Thanksgiving, not Advent I, but Black Friday Weekend).
Is our faith so tenuous that we need it to be affirmed by the retailers? (–says a wise member of my congregation) By the greeting card industry? By the person fixing our pumpkin spice latte?
I’ve already said my peace about all the reasons we need to stop being so touchy about what other people call “our holiday.” In fact, it went kind of viral over on Patheos. Since my usual readership is about 4 people–counting my mom twice–i can only imagine that this post resonnated with people at a visceral level. Probably because we are all so sick of being scared… and sick of people trying to MAKE us scared, that our faith is somehow prohibited when our neighbors practice theirs differently.
Enough. I’m preaching from Isaiah this Advent season, and I’m taking a page out of his book–the 8th chapter, to be precise–this week. He says:
“Do not call conspiracy everything this people calls a conspiracy;
do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it.
The Lord almighty is the one you are to regard as holy…”
Also taking a page from Isaiah to remind us that the coming reign of God will, in no way, look like that which we are expecting; nor will it be prevented by a ‘season’s greetings’ sign at the mall; nor will it be for just ‘us,’ whoever the us might be. If we are truly awaiting a Messiah, then the only thing to fear is that Jesus shows up as something other than a sweet white baby, and we miss him because we are too busy hollering at each other.
Meanwhile, did i mention we spent $60 Billion Dollars last weekend? It will take about $45 billion to repair the damage from hurricane Sandy. Just sayin. You reckon Isaiah would see this as a problem?