Many well-meaning Christians have begun to wage a war against “the war on Christmas,” urging us to boycott stores like Old Navy because they say “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” If Old Navy employees said “Merry Christmas”, though, would it infuse hearts with Jesus? Would He receive glory from the sale of yet another sweater sewn by poor hands? It’s doubtful.
The greatest way that we can resist the storm of Christmas commercialism is to set our hearts and minds on Jesus. It’s one thing to say that Jesus is the reason for the season; it’s another to seek Him with earnestness and conviction in the coming weeks, getting to know His heart and His ways beyond the story of His birth that we are celebrating.
Instead of lamenting the loss of Christ in Christmas at the mall, our time and mental energy could be better spent thinking on all that was given to us in Christ. Our time and physical energy could be better spent giving generously to those who cannot repay us, just as God gave His life to a world that could never repay Him. Our time and emotional energy could be better spent praising the Author of Life rather than reviling those who ride the cultural wave each December trying to make a buck.
There was a lot to pay attention to during the days of Jesus’ birth and early years. Shepherds came stumbling into the stable late at night, smelly outcasts rejoicing over a tiny baby. A jealous and evil king destroyed all of the Jewish boys ages two and under. Wise men came from far away lands to give ludicrously expensive gifts. An old man and an ancient woman in the temple of God broke out in prophecy and praise of God when Jesus was carried into the room by His parents.
And Luke tells us that Mary looked at all those things, all the commotion, and treasured them and pondered them in her heart.
Perhaps resisting the storm is built on quiet pondering and on treasuring, not being engulfed by the hubbub all around (or railing against it), being consumed with the One who has sparked all the commotion.