Thursday, December 17, 2009

10 Days to Christmas

I was at the mall last night. I went to see a movie with a friend, stopped by at a Turkish restaurant, checked some of the window displays and made mental notes of what I must purchase when I make my next visit. Discounts were being offered and great bargains were being dangled as carrots to a hound. Christmas shopping couldn't be more attractive with the kind of attractive rates that would delight anyone desperate for some serious retail therapy.

Christmas has become a celebration of consumerism, and the little Babe born in the dirty manger has been relegated to an afterthought. Or as a quaint decoration to add that religious touch. Materialism appears triumphant even though Christ talked about the meek inheriting the Earth. Possessions and the ability to acquire possessions have become more important than the need to cultivate character and integrity. While shopping is necessary in life, it does seem to be 'the reason for the season', and malls have become the heartland for all of this feverish excitement.

I couldn't help thinking of "Immanuel" as I was walking around the mall last night. Immanuel is the other name for Christ and it means "God with us." The name implies that we will never be alone and that God will be with us no matter where we are, where we go and what we do. If that be the case, then, it certainly means that His presence will be with me as I walk around the mall.

I wondered what would be His thoughts when He accompanies me, and notices things I rarely do. What do you think His response would be to what he sees there...

Will He admire the fancy designer labels that were, most probably, made in a sweat shop in some Asian country?

Will He approve of the huge posters advertising different products in language that appears to encourage covetousness?

Will He think highly of the fashion shops that appear to promote an impossible idea of beauty, and in the process induce young girls to suffer from anorexia and bulimia?

Will He be delighted to see men and women trying to attract each other by focusing solely on their sexuality and not their innate personalities?

Will He be happy to see underpaid shop attendants struggling to make a living while trying to be friendly with their customers?

Will He notice the cleaners and parking attendants whose existence no one cares about or even bothers?

Will He be pleased to know that the malls have put to death many pop-and-mom stores, small retail outlets and old shopping districts?

Will he observe the many lonely people sitting by themselves in coffee-shops, sipping cappuccino, staring into their laptops and pretending to be busy?

Will He sense the emptiness in people's hearts as they try and fill their souls with purchases that eat into their credit card balance?

Will we listen to Him as He asks us to adopt His standards and be a salt and light in such an environment? Or will we just nod our heads, think it's a great idea and do nothing at all?

1 comment:

Biser said...

Very thought-provoking questions, leaving one challenged