Yesterday I talked about the value of old things and how consumerism keeps us from understanding and seeing the value in redeeming something old rather than always looking for the rush something new provides. One of the mistakes many pastors (kids pastors, youth pastors and senior pastor alike) make is during Christmas we demonize culture rather than show people how to redeem it. If you attend church during Christmas in most churches you will hear some form of this rant. “Christmas is not about stuff, or buying things, we need to put Christ back in Christmas.” While this is true it falls short. The church for the past few years has done a good job of talking about what Christmas isn’t and haven’t done a good enough job describing the beauty of Christ.
I am not Amish and don’t churn my butter. I actually love technology and new things but I think events like Black Friday and disposable everything does more damage to our society than good. We have this obsession with new. When is the last time you repaired anything? Everything we own is new until it’s not anymore then we discard it and replace it and not repair it. Why fix my TV for 200.00 when I can get a new one for 300? We have a society that no longer sees the value in old things. We even want a new version of our old things and call it retro. We live in a society that used to value “growing old” together, now it seems everywhere you turn people are cashing in relationships to chase new things they think will make them happy but what we don’t know is that this new relationship will eventually break and if we don’t learn to value old things we will never understand or experience the power of redemption. The long-term damage consumerism causes reaches farther into our lives than just our stuff, it erodes the fabric of our relationship because our desire to have new things slowly makes its way into the most important relationships in our lives.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I am not a massive foodie. Don’t get me wrong I like family meals together not so much because I like food but because I love family. Between the Christmas Creep and the Black Friday Seep I think many of us have forgotten that giving thanks is more than a holiday is an act of our will. It’s the result of a heart that is regenerated.
Two of the greatest times we have to communicate the power of the gospel in the lives our kids are weeks leading up to Christmas and Easter. Unfortunately both are hijacked by commercialism and fairy tales. I am not a hater of the Easter bunny and the Elf on the shelf, but I do get frustrated by parents who put so much effort into those things they fail to make the most of a prime opportunity to help your kids understand what the gospel is all about.
Here are a couple of very easy ways for you to put some creative energy behind helping your kids have fun, create memories and understand the gospel.
Jesus doesn’t need our help, he’s pretty famous. He needs humble servants to live in a way that makes famous people want what they can’t have. We need to lose ourselves in spreading His fame not obsessing over how our fame can help Him out. Through our desire for personal fame we have made Jesus infamous to a watching world.