How Christmas Shopping is Like Going to Church

How Christmas Shopping is Like Going to Church December 23, 2013

David Hayward shared this cartoon:

I think it is hilarious. But it makes some serious points. The oddity of giving people a certain time and saying that this will be “fellowship” time or “worship” is distinctly odd, and that oddity is only missed when we have be ome accustomed to this way of doing things. Most church leaders will tell you that fellowship is something that can happen anywhere at any time, and that worship is something that should not be limited to once a week in church, and yet the way we do things conveys the very opposite.

Instead, being a Christian ought to change how we navigate the mall, our attitude in the check-out line, our appreciation of the activities we engage in in the food court. And we ought to ask questions like “Where (and how) would Jesus shop?” even though the answers tell us about ourselves rather that the historical figure of Jesus.

Of related interest, Gavin shared a link to an article suggesting that significant numbers of people today think that Santa Claus is a character in the nativity story.


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  • guest

    Where would Jesus shop? Probably in palestine. Somewhere cheap, since he didn’t have much money and was apparently supported financially by other people, mostly women, during his ministry. Not that he would have bought much. Bread, fishes, maybe some carpentry tools when he was younger. He wasn’t exactly a model consumer.

    But I guess you mean things like buying fairtrade, shopping in places where people are paid a living wage, and so forth.

    I’m always skeptical of polls of the British public, because the British public has a tendency to take the piss. Look at how many people put ‘Jedi’ as their official religion on that census!

    However, the results aren’t all that surprising. Britain may still have a majority Christian population, but to many British people, religion is irrelevant to their lives. The nativity is seen as a nice story to tell the kids, but not any more true than the other ‘traditional’ Christmas stories like A Christmas Carol. Church attendence is down and a lot of people don’t bother reading the bible, except a few verses when they get married maybe, or some stories like Noah’s Ark for the children.

    Which is fine with me. I’m hoping I’ll see the Church of England disestablished in my lifetime. I think it’s good we learn about many religions in RE instead of being indoctrinated. It’s true that Britain has a rich Christian heritage with all our lovely churches and music and we should preserve that, but I think the idea that Britain is a Christian nation belongs in the past.