Posted by: smstrouse | November 23, 2011

‘Tis the (Countercultural) Season

Here’s my proposal: give Christmas to the retail businesses. Admit defeat and let ’em have it. ‘Black Friday,’ 24-hour Wal-Mart, inane ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ in the supermarket starting in October – it’s all theirs.

I read that Americans spend 450 billion dollars every year on Christmas. That’s nothing to sneeze at. So, in an effort to support the economy, the church should step out of the way of this important, patriotic, secular season.  We should get out of the Christmas business and just keep Advent.

Advent is the antithesis to the Wal-Mart Christmas. As bargain hunters gird their loins for frenzied shopping, those who keep Advent hunker down for introspective waiting and watching. As malls put up giant evergreen trees illuminated with red and green lights, Advent-keepers light one candle and offer a prayer for hope in the midst of darkness. As stories are told of Santa Claus, who rewards good little girls and boys with expensive presents, another story is told of the one who ‘fills the hungry with good things, and sends the rich away empty.’

OK, maybe handing Christmas over is going a little too far. Still, Advent is the quintessential counter-cultural season.  We should embrace this opportunity to be witnesses to another way of thinking and living and being.  I recommend the promo video done by the Advent Conspiracy (http://ac.wcrossing.org/) as a good resource for shifting our thinking about the season.

Christmas doesn’t start until December 25th. That means there are four weeks of waiting and watching. So I’m going to go and set up my Advent wreath and get ready to light that first candle. Let the (countercultural) season begin!

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Responses

  1. Hi Pastor Susan:

    I want to share this fun spiritual blog contest (50 prizes) with you and your readers (sorry I’m contacting you this way – couldn’t find an email and I’m new to blogging). Please feel free to contact me for more information or to repost in a different way, info@holycrapway.com). Also, any blog host who shares the contest details and a link to http://www.hc-way.com/contest2011 will receive a vibrant “Lover of Peace” sticker and a free ebook of Holy Crap: Spirituality within the Muck of Everyday Life. More here:

    Stoke Your Soul: A Simple, Heartwarming Contest

    Author and musician Dan Messinger uses multimedia – including a book, music, audio meditations, and a Web community – to revolutionize spirituality in a program called Holy Crap. In Dan Messinger’s Holy Crap Heartwarming Contest 2011, fifty prizes will be awarded to the 50 most interesting, soulful or otherwise touching blog comments. Even more, any blog host who shares both the contest details and a link to the contest page will receive a vibrant “Lover of Peace” sticker and a free ebook of Holy Crap: Spirituality within the Muck of Everyday Life.

    Holy Crap is a revolutionary spiritual program that supports people of all faiths in using everyday hassles as opportunities for spiritual growth. With humor and stories of his own struggles as a father, husband and corporate VP, Dan Messinger both entertains and enlightens in his new multimedia book, Holy Crap: Spirituality within the Muck of Everyday Life.

    This holiday season, author Dan Messinger is hosting the Holy Crap Heartwarming Contest 2011. Fifty prizes will be awarded to the 50 most interesting, soulful or otherwise touching blog comments. As Dan noted, “In the very act of composing your thoughts and stories, you reflect on what deeply matters; in this way, you already benefit.” Even more, 50 contributors will win one of 50 spiritual gifts such as modern meditation timers, Holy Crap t-shirts, and Om Hats, as well as inspirational key chains and stickers quoting Messinger’s premises: “Everything is an Opportunity for Growth” and “Transform Everyday Hassles into Spiritual Growth”.

    Dan reminds everyone to keep the blog comments soulful, fun, and – true to his nondenominational perspective – respectful of all faiths. The more blog comments one makes, the greater his or her chance of winning. Each person may win up to 3 prizes.

    To view the 50 prizes, Contest Details and the Entry Form, go to http://www.holycrapway.com/contest2011.

    To post a blog comment, go to http://www.hc-way.com/mainsite (then go to Community & Blog).

    The Holy Crap Heartwarming Contest 2011 ends at the stroke of midnight (PST) on January 15, 2012. The time is now to stoke your soul: share and learn how others transform everyday hassles into spiritual growth at http://www.hc-way.com/mainsite.

    Peace.

    Like


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