Decades ago the Mennonites published "The More With Less Cookbook". The author wrote that many Americans are overfed but malnurished. This is analogous to the way the worldly Christmas has been celebrated. At my last Celebrate Recovery meeting, instead of reading the 12 Steps workbook, the leader discussed how Christians can have more joy at Christmas with less wordly hoopla. He said that Christmas has degenerated into hedonism.It's not only the incessant ads that use Christmas sounds, jingles, and themes to push a product that's bad, but the shows, which keep their wordly, sordid, black storylines that put a Christmas lable on it. It's trite, cheap.But there are good movies with a true Christian message. It's a Wonderful Life is one. The classic movie shows that God has a purpose for our lives. In the movie, the angel Clarence takes the desperate, flustered George Bailey into the future and shows him what life would be life if he never existed. Without George in the mix, the greedy Mr. Potter takes over the town, which becomes decadent. There is little compassion, patience, kindness or mercy. But George, who had considered suicide, comes to his senses and comes back to play a role in keeping Bedford Falls a decent place to live – a town that Mr. Rogers might even approve of.The bottom line for the world at Christmas is the bottom line. Sell Sell Sell! Christmas has become about worldly prosperity, affluence. As the late evangelist Francis Schaeffer wrote "Affluence means an overwhelming and ever increasing prosperity — a life made up of things, things and more things — a success judged by an ever–higher level of material abundance.”Dr. Schaeffer wrote that although the counter culture may not have the right solutions, it has diagnosed problems. On the Beatle's Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, the song She's Leaving Home, portrays the bankrupcy of materialism. In the song, a girl leaves her home. Her parents wonder why. After all, they've given her everything money can buy.The lyrics: She(we gave her most of our lives)Is leaving (sacrificed most of our lives)Home (we gave her everything money could buy)She's leaving home, after living alone, for so many years (bye bye)And the parents continue to wonder why:"Daddy, our baby's gone.Why would she treat us so thoughtlessly?How could she do this to me?"The peace promoted by the world is personal peace, which Dr. Schaeffer discribed:“Personal peace means just to be left alone, not to be troubled by the troubles of other people…Personal peace means wanting to have my personal life pattern undisturbed in my lifetime, regardless of what the result will be in the lifetimes of my children and grandchildren."At Christmastime, people exhaust themselves, running around like the White Rabbit and acting like the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, trying to have such a great time - excessive decorating, the bigger and more showy surface glitter the better, and party hardy. If they just work hard, people think, they will find satisfaction, their zenith, their Tower of Babble.The Tower of BabelNow the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth. Genesis 11:1-9One of my pet pieves is when I go to a public place in America, I hear people speaking foreign languages. We are the United States, a melting pot, not a Tower of Babble!
The worldy celebration of Christmas alienates people instead of bringing them together! The true meaning of Christmas illustrated in a poem I found on the Internet last year:All Christmas Poetry The True Meaning of Christmas by Brian K. Walters In todays day and time,it’s easy to lose sight,of the true meaning of Christmasand one special night.When we go shopping,We say “How much will it cost?”Then the true meaning of Christmas,Somehow becomes lost.Amidst the tinsel, glitterAnd ribbons of gold,We forget about the child,born on a night so cold.The children look for SantaIn his big, red sleighNever thinking of the babyWhose bed was made of hay.In reality when we look into the night sky,We don’t see a sleighBut a star, burning bright and high.A faithful reminder,Of that night so long ago,And of the child we call Jesus,Whose love, the world would know.“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.” – John 1:4,5