How black can Black Friday become? Is it so intense that the bright light of the Christ Child is snuffed out? The frenzy of millions to spend billions as the prerequisite for celebrating Christmas has won. Materialistic hedonism is the god of America supplanting the detached and simplistic lesson of the new born Son of God lying in a bleak animal stable.
The worship of money and the things money can buy has created the all-night vigils in frigid degrees, primed to race through opening doors that provide access to a myriad of goods at prices reported to be lavishly slashed. The message is clear for all to observe — here in America buying at reduced prices is what Christmas is all about.
It is evident that possessing an abundance of the newest and the latest has an exclusive propriety and endorsement for celebrating Christmas; or as it is more commonly referred — for celebrating “the holidays.” For millions the special thrill for Christmas is being able to brag about great merchandise at great savings.
Americans seem to find the merriment of the season in cleverly amassing coveted goods at reduced prices. Christmas morning is for disclosing a plethora of gadgets and devices that promise to make life easier and more entertained; promising more distraction from life’s persistent obligations, stresses and boredom. The god of buying goods is the American Christ Child.
The God of the universe offering endless joy by frugal living and generous giving(to the poor) is his message demonstrated so realistically by the Christ Child and his subsequent adult life and teaching. This profound message has been the solitary focus of Christmas; a celebration that remains No. 1 and the largest in the world.
In the last 60 years this greatest of all festivities has been decimated. Christ and his Gospel as the joyful good news to gain eternal life, is now being replaced by a moment of emotion — fanaticizing Jesus as a charming, permanent infant in a manager; dismissing with disbelief his adult life of miraculous works and serious words. Americas, though many claiming to be Christians, have been misled by the diabolically fueled Christmas commercialization.
The entertaining video(with a serious message) depicting the Grinch Who Stole Christmas with a green and greedy countenance, fits perfectly the greedy face of merchandizers and those who ravenously patronize them this holy season.
May loving, caring, forgiving and serving characterize our Christmas, fading our green complexion and affording us all — a MERRY CHRISTMAS!
The Rev. John Burkhart Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of psychology
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