Saturday, December 5, 2009

Celebration, or lack of

Is my mantel decorated with my beautiful nativity scene ? Nope.
Is my tree up, twinkling for all to see? Nope.
Have I even removed the pumpkin from the porch or the Autumn flag? Nope.

Why? I am usually fully decorated by the day after Thanksgiving. But this year, something has changed, and it 'aint good.

Before I get a barrage of comments of 'decorate for the kids', 'get in the spirit', 'the real reason for the season'. Know --- I know that. But here is what the problem is :
  • Christmas is about love - and I'm not really feeling or seeing it in today's world.
  • Christmas is about hope - that's hard to come by also when children are hurting, starving, or being killed in their mother's wombs.
  • Christmas is about peace - the world is at war, our citizens are at war politically, and our churches are split with in-fighting, gossip, and pride.
I think about Christ looking down on His church, His bride, right now - What does he see? Is he happy? Is he the proud father?

Or does he see self-absorption... prideful speech... arguing over theology... greed? His children fighting over which method of baptism is right?!? His children fighting over what music is sung on Sunday mornings ?!? His children fighting over whether it is permissible or not to have a glass of wine at dinner ?!? Modern Pharisees, more concerned with laws than love.

And society??? Getting up at the break of dawn, or even midnight to go consume. To spend outrageous amounts of money on our children. The latest and the greatest. Hearing other parents tell me about spending upwards of $2-300 on each child. Children that have every need, and most wants, met already.

And please don't think I'm judging, I am there too. Hustling in the early morning crowds. Giving my children good gifts that I know they probably don't need. But if you're already involved in showing Christ's love tangibly, this post isn't for you. But there has to be a point where we say, what is this all about?? And what am I doing about it???

I heard that once you visit a foreign country, or jump in the chaos that is adoption, you are forever changed. And maybe that's it. My sickness. But how, Lord how, can we spend the amount of money we do on toys, on treasures that will moth or rust, when there are babies shaking, dying in rags? Children sucking marrow from bones for nourishment as they have no other form? Mothers making cookies of mud to feed their children, something to trick their bellies into thinking they are full? How can we not see? How can we not care?

I know that 'even as a father gives good gifts to his children'.... Christ did not condemn us for loving our family. But when it is all about us, and we have nothing left over, and only credit card bills to show for it, what have we given?

"I just can't afford to give this year."
"We're just not financially able to help."
"We have so many commitments." I've said these more than a few times this year and season. Weren't those just lies to get someone off my back?

It's not fun. Having your eyes opened. It's not fun, seeing blind around you. So please don't judge me if I can't celebrate what we have done to Christ's birth. How we have mangled it beyond recognition. And know, my children will feel the joy of Christmas. They will know it's real meaning. They will laugh, go on our normal Christmas outings, play with their new toys, knowing none the difference. But I pray, this year and every year, that I will keep their eyes open. That they will not turn blind.

I was told, I can't save the world. And that's true, and that hurts. But someone came that did. And it is Him I celebrate this season.

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