From a reading on Spiritual discipline:
“Simplicity – Matthew 6:33 – 34. Pursue a life free from striving after material things. Do not worry yourself trying to get the latest and best of every new item that comes on the market. Determine not to be enslaved to material possessions and excessive busyness that is so tempting in today’s culture.”
These words are sobering to hear at a time when we draw near to Christmas, with all of its materialistic trappings. It started a couple of weeks ago, with Black Friday, and continues even after the holiday is over, with after-Christmas sales and New Years extravaganzas. Even the most religious and contemplative can be caught up in the frenzy of buying.
After writing time and again about allowing our religion to inform our politics, it occurred to me that it may be just as countercultural to allow our religion to inform our consumption.
No, buying gifts and decorations are not sins. And we can’t act as though they are. This is a personal journey I am suggesting, not a crusade. Such actions are the type we may never get to explain to someone else. But journeys of this type may be the most important kind.
Most of us rarely think about the things we think about, or do something to change the things we do. We are creatures of habit, and most of our habits were chosen for us. This is an opportunity to put a stop to that progression, in some small way, at a time when it might carry weight.
Take a moment.
What would it mean to give up striving after material things this Christmas? Fewer decorations on the walls? A couple less presents on the tree?
That in and of itself isn’t special — it is that which it frees us up to do that brings meaning.
May your Christmas be filled with the presence of Christ in every way.