Every year I never cease to be amazed with the craziness that is Black Friday.
Maybe it’s me, but the commercials leading up to this national holiday seem to be everywhere and more of them. You have everything from toys to electronics to cars to, well, you name it. I find interesting, though, that I see car commercials for certain vehicles that I don’t remember seeing during other times of the year. I mean seriously, do a lot of people really give expensive, luxury cars as Christmas presents, enough to tailor commercials to that end?
Growing up, my dad was a car dealer and I never got a car for Christmas. I guess I just run in different circles because I am perfectly happy with a new coffee mug and some homemade pizza with my family (I have put a Seahawks shirt on my Christmas list this year but I doubt my family from Vikings country are going to buy that for me).
But my rant is not done. I am just getting warmed up. Those who know me well back in Minnesota know that I get fired up about Christmas around this time of the year. I get fired up over seeing how commercialized Christmas has become. Granted, I do buy presents for friends and family but for me the true reason for the season is not stuff. I mean, really, we wouldn’t have Christmas if it wasn’t for one person: Jesus. Christmas is about God coming to earth in love. It is about God redeeming this fallen creation. Christmas is about Jesus born onto us.
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“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
That is Christmas. A child born to us and for us. A child, Jesus Christ, born that he may die for the forgiveness of our sins. I say all of this with the hope that anyone who reads this may have this message seared unto their heart. Maybe you don’t understand the true meaning of the season or maybe you have just forgotten. Whatever the case, read the Isaiah text again and keep things in perspective.
We live in a world predicated on the accumulation of stuff and the lie that the one with the most toys wins. The fact is, the one with the most toys when they die is still dead. As you Christmas shop this year, remember the amazing gift purchased for you through the blood of Jesus. Remember the true meaning of this season and therefore have a very, Merry Christmas.
Pastor Eric Hullstrom leads the congregation at Living Word Lutheran Church (LCMC) in Puyallup. His personal site is heartofapastor.blog.