Saturday, December 17, 2011

Glitz and Glitter

Glitz and Glitter

We were at one of the mandatory Christmas Parties last night.

The wife of a good friend was complaining that they had no lights. No Christmas tree. The house was plain.

"Because the kids are all gone?" we queried.

"No. As you know, we came back from the Holy Land a month ago. Everywhere Jesus went, everywhere something happened in the Gospel account, they have put up enormous Cathedrals over there. It was SO over the top."

"Bethlehem was depressing. It is incredibly dirty. They had put up this huge cathedral hundreds of years ago. Now the Muslims have taken the area over and are blaring their propaganda directly at the Cathedral. It was a bizarre and unsettling experience."

"So, no lights and Christmas tree for me this Christmas."

As I reflected on our conversation, I realized we have no Muslims blaring ant Christian messages at a high volume over a loud speaker.

But the glitz and glitter, and the materialism in our culture accomplishes the same thing. It overpowers and drowns out what God did for the world so long ago.

11. "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

No Glitz.

No Glitter.

Just a baby lying in a manager...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It is More Blessed to Give Than to Receive

It is More Blessed to Give Than to Receive

It is Christmas, 2011.
The ads on TV are running full force on how you need to give this or that present - basically as proof that you are a good husband or wife, parent or friend.

But one managed to play before I was able to grab the "mute" button.

In it the girl says, "Its is better to receive, than to give"
Her boyfriend says quietly, in the last seconds of the commercial.
"I don't think that's how it goes..."
She replies - "Close enough!"

Cute commercial. Horrible distortion of the saying quoted directly from Jesus himself.

The quote does not appear in the Gospels - the accounts of Jesus life. Interestingly it is the Apostle Paul who quotes this saying from Jesus, way toward the end of his life.

Acts 20:35 "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”