‘Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to think about yourself!”

I heard this on the radio the other day. It was the start of an ad for some kind of crazy sale with deep-way-below-retail-unheard-of pricing – you know the kind. Something’s bothered me with this statement… and my guess is that it bothers some of you too.

I’ve been amazed at the charity I’ve seen from people this Christmas. At the church, we set a goal to raise $25000 to give to the Water School for something called Advent Conspiracy. (see youtube video if you want to know about Advent Conspiracy… pretty cool).

Either way, the people at the church ended up opening up their pocketbooks and giving something like $91000. That’s a lot of clean water for people in Africa, which I think is a worthy Christmas gift. I’m glad that people are thinking more about others and giving so generously over Christmas – a time when we often overindulge on things for others that aren’t really needed. But what about after Christmas, do we then turn and spend more on ourself? Somehow it doesn’t feel as bad – we’ve given, and hey, boxing day (and week.. and month…) sales are saving me a pile of money!

I hope that we can learn to continue giving. The great thing about the message of Christmas is that it wasn’t just something that happened once and is celebrated yearly. The true message of Christmas isn’t just that some kid was born, it is that Jesus was born – the Messiah. That’s worth celebrating year round by being generous with what we’ve got and taking this life giving message of the gospel (with both it’s spiritual and physical redeeming nature) to the world. Now that Christmas has happened, I want to keep fresh in my memory the model of love that God gave us through sending His son and be sure that I let people know that Christmas means something different (and lasting) to those who know Christ than those who don’t. I don’t want to let post-Christmas become about me again.

Truthfully, I’m glad that Christmas comes around every year… and Easter, and generally every Sunday. I need those reminders to stop thinking about myself. I think the biggest reason I didn’t like what that radio announcer was saying was because I knew it resonated true in my life and that I had never really stopped thinking about myself. Thank God for grace!