There’s this coffee place in town that I’ve been to a few times, and while I’ve been there I’ve gotten this vibe that it is sort of a Christian hangout for whatever reason. I was there last night with Alicia studying and noticed that they have an “open discussion” every Sunday night at 7:00. Well, I usually am doing small groups or worship services with my youth group on Sunday nights, but tonight we didn’t have anything scheduled, so I decided to go.
My hunch was right. A church actually meets in the coffee shop on Sunday mornings at 9:00am and they also have a discussion group on Sunday nights. A Southern Baptist church plant actually uses the place as meeting space.
Anyways, the discussion tonight was about Christmas. The pastor, who was facilitating the discussion group, was asking questions like: Would Jesus celebrate Christmas with us? Would you be weirded out if you didn’t have any gifts at Christmas this year? Have we been manipulated by American corporations?
I found many of the conclusions to be lacking. And, at the end of the night, the pastor gave his opinion, which echoed many of the other people’s opinions. He said that as long as our heart was in the right place, it is okay to participate in Christmas. He said that our actions when shopping should be Christ-like, though. We shouldn’t fight people for a PS3; we shouldn’t get all anxious and perturbed waiting outside the doors of Wal-mart at 5:00am the day after Thanksgiving; we shouldn’t act like the rest of the world when we are shopping. Our heart needs to be in the right place. But go ahead and buy that PS3.
I always find it interesting how after conversations that talk about the subversity of Jesus and how he would practice Christmas, we always justify doing things the way we’ve always done them. We don’t allow ourselves to even consider that our call to let Christ reign over all might actually neccessitate us drastically changing the way we live. And we say, “just make sure your heart is in the right place.”
Well, the heart is deceitful. I tend to think that when people say that, what they are really saying is, “how can you rationalize what you are already doing without having to change anything?”
Sometimes, you might just have to do something that will make you uncomfortable.
I had some more thoughts, but that will suffice for now.