Sunday, 9 December 2007

Advent or Ad Vent?

As the Christmas season kicked off, I had to wonder. Once again on Thanksgiving weekend we could watch as the ad agencies unleashed a barrage of ads. Millions are being spent this season trying to convince us we cannot have a merry Christmas without more things. They tap into our fear of rejection and perhaps feeling left behind if we don't have HD, luxury, expensive rocks, and other possessions "everybody" else has, or at least desires.

For me, I have found some definite advantages to being closer to the poor category. Over 90% of the items advertised have zero temptation for me. I will be happy to just have warm water out of the faucet and perhaps a furnace in the winter.

But I certainly understand the temptations. I, too, have purchased things I rarely use. I have purchased things I probably couldn't afford.

And I am all for giving and receiving gifts. There is joy in both.

But what about Advent? I don't follow the church calendar much. But nearly everyone has some anticipation leading up to Christmas, Christian or not.

Kevin Korver from Third Church, my Iowa pastor, made a suggestion this past week. Select a hobby or something you will be doing this season. Perhaps hunting or shopping or baking or sports watching will be appropriate for you. The challenge is to invest as many hours preparing your heart for Christmas as you spend on that other activity. Can you do it? Are you willing to try? Am I willing to try?

Let every heart prepare him room...

Where meek souls will receive him still, the dear Christ enters in.

Seek the great desire of Nations...

As with gladness men of old....So, most gracious Lord, may we evermore be led to thee

What Child is This? ...Let loving hearts enthrone him

Let me know how it goes.