Can We Make the Church into an Anti-Mall?

At the risk of sounding like an even worse sectarian (than some critics claim I am), can I plead for all evangelical Christians to quit threatening Target and Wal-Mart with a boycott, if they don’t put “Christmas” on their advertisements? Us U.S. Americans can’t seem to come to grips with the reality that we have given away our culture, i.e. we are not the majority, and Christmas is a secular holiday. Christmas is not a Christian holiday in the United States or Canada. On my neighborhood walk yesterday I counted on the front lawns one crèche versus 24 blow up thingies of snowmen, Santa Claus’s and other assorted objects neutered of any religious meaning. By coming to the realization that U.S. is no longer a Christian nation we evangelicals might be forced to be witnesses to what it means to be Christians at Christmas. And this would mean to disavow ourselves of the association between Christmas and buying stuff. So for the sake of our witness to the birth of Christ, let’s boycott the stupid shopping craze entirely and let’s not associate Christmas with any advertising having to do with going to malls, Target or Wall Mart. And let us ask target and Wall-Mart to not desecrate the word “Christmas” by using it to advertise stupid stuff and entice people to buy things. And let the church be the anti mall. Instead of going to buy stupid things nobody wants, let us figure out how to gather and make thoughtful inexpensive crafts as expressions of joy and hope and then give them away, let us bring food, clothing and stuff we can’t use because we bought too much stuff last year, and give it to those who are broke. Let us advertise this as Christmas. Please don’t think we at Life on the Vine have arrived at this stage yet, I’m just thinking about how to make this into a great Christmas liturgy. Merry Christmas …

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