By Frank Wessling
December is the most dangerous month. The soul-threatening march of commerce tends to overwhelm the small, quiet voice of Advent.
These pre-Christmas weeks are a hard test for American Christians. We can be corrupted. The popular culture demands that we obsess over buying material goods. Go out and get stuff, is the message that pounds at us. Think of things you’ve seen advertised or heard about that tickle your fancy. Think of what’s popular, or said to be popular, and buy those things for family and friends as Christmas presents – or buy them for yourself and feel good about possessing the “must-have” item of the day.
And if you begin to wonder what all of this has to do with celebrating the birth of Jesus, there will be someone to remind you that it means jobs, work, business, helping the demand side of the economy so that production can rise and confidence returns and people can be hired, etc., etc., etc., in the wondrous circle of capitalism.
Wouldn’t Jesus want more production, less unemployment, more business confidence?
A better question is: what do we want? When we’re quiet within, letting our deepest hope become conscious, what do we want? Is it a what, a thing, a possession? Isn’t it, rather, a who, a relationship, a love?…
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