Saturday, December 05, 2009

Objects In the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear

So it's Saturday night and I'm putting the work of the last few weeks into the Powerpoint I'll use tomorrow. The trouble with that is that on a usual week's work I'll have 30-50 pages of notes, a dozen pdfs, several pages bookmarked and far more material than I will ever use. The trick is to distill and illuminate what you've learned in a way that the people who walk through it with you can grasp, apply, and incorporate into their lives.

There are times when the particular topic or text doesn't really train its crosshairs on me. But this one is. Tomorrow I'll continue our Advent focus and talk about the commercialization of Christmas and urge people to spend less. Like the mirror above - that topic is closer to me than I'd like.


Yes, I love the Biblical story of Incarnation and the promise of redemption. The babe in the manger. The shepherds keeping watch of the flocks by night. The wise men. The flight to Egypt. I love it all.

But for most of my life, and too often still, I find myself dreaming of what I might get for Christmas.

As a child I was totally sold out to the presents that Christmas brought. As an adult I've loved buying them for Bunny and for the boys. It was like being a kid again. And I'd move heaven and earth to make sure that they "had Christmas" in the typical American traditional way it is expressed - that is - we loaded them up with stuff. I've gone in debt again and again to make sure it happened.

So when I stand before the congregation tomorrow, I will be speaking to them and to myself.

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