Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. John 14:27
Every Christmas season, retailers seek to outdo their records from the previous year. They strive for more sales, better deals, quicker delivery, and happier customers. The website holidaycommerce360.com tallies ten factors that go into retail selling in the United States from Thanksgiving weekend until New Year’s Day. The site reports that in 2018, “consumer confidence” (public trust in the economy) was the highest it has been in eighteen years. Last year’s sales growth (total dollars in sales for the year) was up fifteen percent from the previous year. Sixty percent of consumers planned to spend at least fifty percent of their shopping dollars online, and seventy-six percent planned to purchase at least one-fourth of their holiday dollars online—up seventy-three percent since last year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday were the top two days of shopping on Amazon Prime. Purchasing online to pick up locally and same-day delivery were important factors in people choosing to order online.
If you think this data is a strange way to celebrate the birth of the Son of God, you are not alone! While the Christmas spending “hype” is going on every year, Christian pastors around the nation are proclaiming the true meaning of Christmas from their pulpits. Choirs and church bands and Sunday school coordinators are practicing in preparation for special Christmas programs throughout the Advent season. Many who believe in the coming of the Son of Man at Christmas—including me—know that the season we call Advent cannot be measured by sales growth or percent of online purchasing. Jesus came to deliver the very best deal of all time: His presence here on earth, walking, talking, healing, bringing a message of peace and love. He gave the ultimate gift when He willingly went to the cross thirty-three years after His birth, to show that He indeed could conquer death and live in our hearts forever. Jesus doesn’t care if we worship Him through a televangelism program or at a physical place of worship, as long as we come and have fellowship with Him and our fellow believers.
Precious Jesus, how did we ever get here, where the celebration of Your birth has become so commercialized? Take us back to seeing only You in Christmas. Amen
Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has over thirty years’ experience working with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, war veterans, and other trauma survivors. Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .