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A Truely White Christmas
December 13, 2015

Inside the Issue or Dear Sam...our semi-weekly article in the Pembroke Daily Observer newspaper...

Dear Sam,

This year I want to reject materialism and just worship God's gift of Jesus. I'm considering buying no gifts for family, but maybe give to charity in their names. I'm hoping they will be influenced by this and become more spiritual. Any tips on how I can help them to put Christ back into Christmas?
A Truly White Christmas

Dear Truly,

You have two desires here. First, you said you wanted to reject materialism, but then you said that you wanted to do this in order to influence your family. Always be careful of your motives. You can and should only control your own self. You shouldn't (secretly) try to control others. That said, there may be a difference between materialism and material goods. You could reject the "ism" while still buying treats for your lovely little ones. What you are rejecting is the deceptive illusion that worldly goods will make you happy or give meaning to life. That's a good and realistic thing to reject. However, there is nothing wrong or unspiritual about material objects or the pleasures derived from them. In fact, the Bible tells us to be very thankful for the many things God provides us with: food, shelter, natural bounty and beauty, health, family. Worshiping means recognizing and obeying this directive to express gratitude, especially for the gift of Jesus, who, by the way, took on material form for our salvation.
"A Truly White Christmas" sounds light and bright and clean. Your rejection of materialism and covert attempt to affect others by its show sounds heavy and dull and tainted. The best model for Christ in Christmas is eyes sparkling with delight in giving generously from the heart. Jesus did not reject matter. He used it to reveal God's desire to give us more than we could even ask or imagine, for our health, welfare, happiness and salvation. That's the Spirit of Christmas!

INSIDE THE ISSUE is authored thru Resurrection Lutheran Church, 250 Quarry Rd, Pembroke. Sunday Worship at 10:30am. Christmas Eve Worship at 7pm.


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