As many of you know, I commute to seminary and hence have lots of time to listen to the radio, books on tape, XM, etc. I have discovered that until a certain point in my commute, I must listen to the local FM station that has the best Traffax report so I know what might lie ahead. This also subjects me to sometimes amusing and often banal "morning drive time" DJ banter. Each morning, there is a question that people can call in and respond to. On Friday, here is what went down:
A local woman, who "loves Christmas" had put up all of her Christmas decorations outside, which apparently involved a lot of electricity and a lot of "stuff." Keep in mind that we have only just observed Veterans Day. Overnight, someone came and took her stuff and left a note telling her that the theft was in punishment for decorating too soon. Lots of behavior to consider.
So .. the morning question was essentially, don't people have to right to "start" Christmas whenever they want?
After all the economy and the world news are a real downer and we " need a little Christmas." This spawned a litany of people who all started calling in talking about their decorations and how important they are to them and a kind of pact to call all of their friends and all decorate NOW to assert their right to "Christmas" whenever they want it.
Did anyone call in to suggest the real meaning of Christmas? NO
Did anyone know the basis of the tradition for lights? NO
Don't even ask is the word "Advent" or "Christ" came up.
The closest anyone got to stating that things might be more than a little off kilter was one person who espoused the rule: No Christmas until after Thanksgiving.
I think that people are right, that the economy is a downer, that the war and world politics can be depressing and worrisome.
We DO need a good word.
But for all of the lights and inflatables and other "stuff" I think it is fair to say that there is no good word found within them.
Would that we would fight for the right to claim and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.
But I guess there is still no room for Jesus - in the aisle at WalMart.