There something unsettling about the consumerist mentality that rears its ugliest head this time of year. And most of us will admit, there’s something unsatisfying about it all. At least for me, it’s been an increasing realization over the past few years, that when all the fluff has been stripped away, when the wrappings and the trappings have been put aside, the stuff doesn’t really matter at all. It’s not often I blog about a sermon but two words from yesterday’s message keep ringing in my head: consume less. A timely message indeed.
The focus of the message flipped between a look at what a consumerist society we’ve become, to Mary and Joseph, and what they gave up in obedience to God’s plan. For Joseph, it meant giving up his rights, his pride, his social standing. Mary gave her very body to carry the Son of God. In short, they realized it was not about them. As I consider how to live out this idea of consuming less, it seems I must flip the phrase around and ask a few more questions:
What consumes me? What passions fuel my thoughts and drive my actions? And what if I were less consumed with me? If that were the case, wouldn’t I naturally consume less? To me, the idea of consuming less ultimately implies a letting go of things temporal and taking hold of the eternal.
Christ came to change the way we relate to God. Shouldn’t our celebration of his birth change the way we live? Right now, all I have is questions but hopefully the coming year will bring some answers.