This Christmas, Give Presence

And I want -- for me, for my family, and for all of you seeking a different way of doing Christmas -- to remember that the holiday should be about celebrating love and God's gifts to us, not Walmart's bottom line . . . or Target's, or Macy's, or any of the other various places we might spend too much money.

I try not to read the Bible in bumper stickers. Any of us can pick a line or two out of any of the books of the Bible to support our rationale for things. But when you read the Bible in vast swathes of narrative instead of in sound bites, what emerges seems clear. God is on the side of the poor, the disposed, and the marginal, or else he wouldn't have his prophets and his son Jesus constantly talking about them. God loves us and is present with us in all of our circumstances, whether we are rich or poor. And God wants to be in relationship with us and for us to place God at the center of our lives.

This Christmas, I'm going to try hard to do just that.

Check back every Thursday for the latest from Faithful Citizenship, a regular column by Greg Garrett at the Mainline Protestant Portal.

12/2/2010 5:00:00 AM
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  • Greg Garrett
    About Greg Garrett
    Greg Garrett is (according to BBC Radio) one of America's leading voices on religion and culture. He is the author or co-author of over twenty books of fiction, theology, cultural criticism, and spiritual autobiography. His most recent books are The Prodigal, written with the legendary Brennan Manning, Entertaining Judgment: The Afterlife in Popular Imagination, and My Church Is Not Dying: Episcopalians in the 21st Century. A contributor to Patheos since 2010, Greg also writes for the Huffington Post,, OnFaith, The Tablet, Reform, and other web and print publications in the US and UK.