Erratic Thought #11
Have you ever heard of the expression, “Christmas in July”? I guess it has a couple different meanings. On those car commercials, you always hear, “IT’S SANTA’S CHRISTMAS IN JULY SALE! COME ON IN FOR THE BEST BUYS OF THE SUMMER!” Other times I will hear the expression when someone was telling of a far off vacation and it was snowing in the middle of summer. I have also heard people say, “It was like Christmas in July” in reference to a big blessing they received at a time when they were least expecting it. My mom sometimes works at Cracker Barrel and I will occasionally go inside. Several weeks ago, I walked in and the first thing I saw as I walked in was a huge Christmas tree. A Christmas tree before Fall had even began. Behind the tree were all the Halloween costumes and candy. And behind that were cute little Beanie Baby turkeys for Thanksgiving. Now I know I shouldn’t be surprised by this; mom tells us all the time about how early the shipments of Christmas decor comes in. But it is seriously seems to be getting earlier every year.
As I continued to look through the store, I saw another tree (to the right). That pitiful looking little “tree” you see cost $40! Why someone would pay that much for a tiny, fake, ugly tree, that doesn’t even look much like a tree is beyond me. Maybe it’s made from some substance will somehow improve the chemical balance of the atmosphere. I don’t know.
So, I started thinking about all this stuff. We are seeing these things before we even have a chance to rake the leaves that haven’t even fallen yet. Sorry if that made no sense. Before I started writing this, I wanted to find the pictures I would insert into the post. I googled “christmas tree.” By the way, I find it very annoying that whenever you’re surfing the web for no reason, you find really cool pictures. But then when you actually want to find a good picture, all that your search returns are cartoon characters and bunny rabbits.
So, anyway, when I searched for a Christmas tree this was one of the results (on the left). What I saw was a sparkling red, white, and blue tree shaped thing. At first I thought it was another useless photo, but then I read the picture’s caption. It read that this Christmas tree was completely studded with silver. This brought the price up to (are you ready?) $2.8 million. $2.8 million! Now, I don’t know if I made a mistake or if the person who posted the picture made a mistake, but I cannot see very many diamonds. However, that is what the caption said. Or maybe there is no mistake and the diamonds are just really small. You know, all this “Christmas in July”does not just have to with the trees. It’s the nativity’s, the lights, and every other kind of Christmas decor that companies are making us think we need to enjoy this precious time of year that God has given us.
Matthew chapter twenty-one reads, “Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.” In this passage, why did Jesus use the word “robbers”? As far as we can tell, the people in the temple were buying and selling their goods fairly among one another. They should not have been doing so within the holy temple, but surely they were not robbers. While these people were not stealing material things as we think of, Jesus was getting at something else. The money changers came into the temple, which was God’s greatest gift to His people, and they made use of it and the many resources He had blessed them with. They did this for their own personal and financial gain. That can be directly related to what we see all around us today. Christmas is one of the greatest blessings we have and our world has taken it and made it solely into something from which they can profit. People in our world today, just like the thieves in the temple, are robbing God (and each other) of the great blessing of celebrating our Savior’s birth.
It is the ultimate form of idolatry- taking God’s resources and His blessings and making into something that we can praise more than Him. Because of how commercialized Christmas has became, we no longer worship Jesus, but instead worship the Christmas season itself. So, let me ask you: have you been robbing God? Maybe you haven’t set up shop in your church, but as a Christian your very body is God’s temple. Have you taken a blessing God gave you to serve Him and put it above the one who gave it to you? I am personally way too guilty of this to be writing about it on a blog. But I started going on about seeing Christmas trees in July and look what happened.