Plea for simplicity - 7 December 2018

Hennie Symington

“God and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven." Mark 10:21

For many Christmas is a license to “shop till you drop”. For some it’s almost become a kind of religion while the modern shopping “cathedrals” pull out all the stops to kindle an almost religious fervour in shoppers. “I shop therefore I am” has become the motto of our time.

Why do we love shopping sprees so much (especially around Christmas)? Is it because we’ve been caught up in a virtual reality created by the advertising media or have we become so materialistic that we don’t even blink when “Jesus” becomes a label on a pair of jeans, banks are portrayed as your Ultimate Provider, and Sunday is hailed as the best day for shopping with the family? Have we become so used to it, that it doesn’t even bother us?

If only we could remind ourselves in the midst of the excesses of Christmas that Christ was born by candlelight in a stable and not a 5-star maternity home; and that simple shepherds were his first visitors, then perhaps we as Christians could begin to take a stand against rampant materialism in a country where the greater part of our population are struggling just to hold body and soul together.

Prayer: Lord, we love Christmas for all the joy and happiness it implies. Let me not search for riches in the material things, but in the vast richness of your love and mercy which come to us at no cost. Amen

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