Hello fearless readers! Today I have one special announcement and one brief pre-Advent meditation for you . . .
First, I am excited to announce that I will be blogging each day through Advent, and I would be delighted if you would join me for this journey. We'll consider the historical background of Christmas, look at some of the key scriptures, explore early Christian "Christmas" theology and how our faith in the incarnation affects our future hope, and through it all ask what implications Advent has for our faith today. Our journey will get underway this upcoming Sunday, December 3rd!
And yes, we will also consider the greatest Christmas film of all time: Diehard.
Finally, as your Christmas shopping is (okay, maybe?) well underway it's a good time to pause and consider the economics of Christmas. It's common knowledge that many Americans go into debt at Christmas as they seek to find the perfect gifts for the people the love. Now, I'm not going to get on any sort of soapbox here, but I just want to share two items to consider when considering how far we should go (or not) for the aforementioned perfect gifts.
First, let's consider the average American household debt (before Christmas shopping!) in a few areas, courtesy of USA Today:
Credit Cards: $16,883
Auto Loans: $29,539
Student Loans: $50,626
Second, consider the words of the man whose birthday we are theoretically celebrating about all these perfect possessions that we are given at Christmas . . .
For which of you,
intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the
cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or
what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit
down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose
the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. 33 So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.
It just a bit ironic to add to our debt for Jesus' birthday celebration.
Note: I love Christmas, and presents (I am an American it seems). But, it's worth considering, no?