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God, I Thank You I’m Not Like People Who Put Up Plastic Santas. NOT

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Okay—so we established that Advent is Latin for coming/waiting for the arrival. The secular world waits for the coming of Santa and the church world waits for the coming of Baby Jesus in the manger.

And you know what that means? The Christmas war begins again.

The same ol’ cry about keeping Christ in Christmas…

The same ol’ arguments about when Christmas decorations should go up…

The same ol’ Santa bashing—pointing out that Satan and Santa have the same letters (so do words like evil and live or smile and slime…).

The same ol’ fight about saying Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas.

Ugh. I’m so over it.

Do we say those things because we really think they make a difference in the world? Do those statements really change people’s hearts?

Has anyone ever come to faith because they were shamed about saying Happy Holidays or sneered at for putting up a glowing, ten foot Santa in their yard?

I’ll bet no. Not one person.

Ever.

Maybe we say these things because they make us feel good about ourselves? Does it make us look spiritual? Is there a bit of self-righteousness going on?

Do we look good when we claim we’re keeping Christ in CHRISTmas and then look down our noses at those whose kids are at the mall sitting on Santa’s lap?

Please don’t get all pissy and leave. I ask these questions so we can take an honest look at ourselves.

Heck – I can answer yes to some of those questions. If we can’t be honest then what’s the point?

This is why I want to dig deeper with Advent. I want more than sitting in a pew, watching beautiful Advent calendars being lit and saying the canned prayer.

Christ came into the world. He came into my world. Your world.

During this Advent season I vow to scour and rid my heart of all traces of spiritual self-righteousness.

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. ~Luke 18:11

Yolanda DeLoach (@YolandaDeLoach) is a member of Wesley UMC and through her writing, tries to remind herself to keep life light. You can visit her at her own site, yolandadeloach.com

4 Responses to God, I Thank You I’m Not Like People Who Put Up Plastic Santas. NOT

  1. Home Run Yolanda! Advent absolutely is the time for self reflection to adequately prepare our hearts for Jesus and his message of hope, love and good will. We need to accept everyone who walks this planet with us as well. By our living example we can change more hearts than by the “holy wars” of words and entrenched ideology. Come Lord Jesus and make me whole, make me a vessel to do your work, Amen.

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