Season’s Greetings

With bellies still round from turkey, stuffing, and everything else that makes Thanksgiving so delicious, a small group of women from Lakeside (myself included) headed to brave the crowds of Black Friday Eve. I had never done the whole Black Friday thing before because I simply couldn’t find a good enough reason to drive side by side with the insane drivers of Lubbock, TX. But, this particular evening, I wasn’t the one driving. I was a thousand miles away from Lubbock drivers, and I thought, “Why not? It could be fun!”

Wal-Mart was an absolute madhouse, but luckily I had Patricia Erdman to be my personal guard. Women shrieked and then began clawing at the merchandise as the workers lifted the yellow plastic off of a set of discounted vacuums. The lines to check out were disorganized clumps to people clinging to their shopping carts, (if they had one) or clumsily trying to juggle loads of toys in their arms. We waited for a good 45 minutes to an hour to get through the line, but ultimately, we did leave Wal-Mart unscathed. That was not so true for dozens of people at Wal-marts across the nation.

Amidst the cheerful ring of Christmas melodies, shoppers punched, clawed, and even resorted to pepper spray to insure that they were able to grab those items that were at least 20% off. A grandfather in Phoenix, Arizona was handcuffed in a pool of his own blood after officers had to throw him to the ground for shoplifting. Now, we find out that he was simply trying to protect his eight-year-old grandson from a bargain thirsty mob that was about to trample him while getting their discounted video games. What a beautiful start to the Christmas season! There is nothing like a little bloody violence to get us in the Christmas spirit.

After seeing and experiencing all of this, one question plagues my mind. What are we celebrating? Obviously most of the country is celebrating their own ability to get their family superficial items of luxury before December 25th. And, in doing that we are celebrating our own wealth. Though we are “giving,” we are simply indulging in the feeling that it giving provides, or trying to appease whining children by distracting them with more toys. Does this sound brutal? Well Black Friday was pretty brutal.

Let us remember something. Away in a manger, over two thousand years ago, our Lord, the King of the Universe, entered this world in the form of a small babe. Christ was sent to us, to die for us. He was sacrificed for our own idolatry, the same idolatry we celebrate here in America during the days leading up to December 25th. We scrapple for these trivial gifts, but the real gift has already been given. What a perplexing paradox about our culture.

I challenge you in the coming days, instead of teaching your children about a fictional man in a bright red suit, to bring your children to the side of the swaddling babe, our King, in the real Christmas story. Instead of getting tightly wrapped up in the stress of tinsel and bows, unwind and take some time to reflect on the gift God has given us. We have souls that have been redeemed, set free from the bondage of sin because of God’s love for us. What a reason to celebrate! With that, I say to you, “Merry Christmas!”

brittany

Brittany is the wife of our Executive Pastor, Britton Lewis. She has a passion for writing and is the main contributor to the devotionals on the Lakeside blog.

6 Responses

  1. Tami Davids says:

    Thanks for the thoughts Brittany. It’s amazing how, even when we try to celebrate Christ’s birth and put our focus there, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the worldly parts. It’s a real balancing act to let our children enjoy the lights, decorations, gifts and music of the season but not let that part take center stage.

  2. Heidi says:

    I love this. I always want to get my friends and family big gifts. But I should really be getting them meaningful gifts that will help them remember what Christ did for us. Something that they can look at and know that I love them, but more importantly, that Jesus loves them.

  3. Peggy Pierce says:

    Hey, Brittany

    We sure miss ya’ll. I read your blog and thought I would pass along something I did with my kids when they were young. I would bake cake and ice it. Then I gave the kids colored frosting and let them decorate a birthday cake for Jesus. Decorating it together gave us a chance to remember the true meaning of Christmas.

  4. Sheila Jones says:

    Dear Brittany, I read your blog to Derek. He said He would like to send that off to Christianity Today magazine.He thinks your gift of writing is something you could being doing full time. God has blessed you woman. We sure enjoy reading and hearing about how both you and Britton are a blessing to Lakeside.What are your plans for the holidays? Is your family coming up? I imagine you are too late in your pregnancy to travel. I remember my first Christmas away from home and I was a lot older than you at the time.It is easier having your own children at home and grandparents can travel. I can tell you’ve made many friends there and that helps a lot .Merry Christmas to you and your family. Love and prayers always.

  5. matt says:

    Maybe now she won’t be so angry with me for bugging her every week over the last few months saying “Did you write a blog post this week yet?” 😉 Thanks Brittany. You give our website fresh content that has real meaning for people’s lives!

    • Brittany says:

      You and Derek are so sweet to say those things. I really appreciate it, and I would love the opportunity to write for a living. We are staying here for Christmas which will be a different experience for sure. I am excited about it though because we will get to spend some time with other church families on a special day. I do wish we could have you an Derek here as well! I hope you two have a wonderful Canadian Christmas.
      Thanks Matt. No adverse feeling here.

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