Best of the Week: Santa, FOMO, and Christian Clichés
In Best of the Week we link to a handful of the best articles, videos, books, etc. that we have come across in the last week. We hope this will point you to some of the right places and give you gospel-rich tools and thoughts for life and mission.
Let’s just get right to it…
“This isn’t an article meant to convince you why you should or shouldn’t partake in all that is Santa, elves, and reindeer. Instead, my goal is to encourage you to put thought and prayer into what you do in your home…Don’t go on autopilot and repeat traditions for the sake of tradition. Instead, craft how your family celebrates the birth of Jesus so that your traditions will plant, water, and strengthen your children’s faith and magnify their worship of God for years to come.”
Discussions about Santa can be complicated and awkward in Christian families, and ours has been no different (You can see my own thoughts here). I appreciate that this writer emphasizes the majesty and glory of Jesus in our traditions regardless of what we decide about Santa.
“It’s a first-world problem: for those of us who don’t worry about putting a roof over our heads or food on the table, our greatest fear seems to be getting to the end of life and feeling we’ve not gotten our money’s worth. According to an article in The New York Times, one of the main culprits is ‘Instagram Envy.’ The nature of a site primarily for sharing pictures is that it tends to be the really nice pictures people share—that particularly attractive meal, holiday scene, or cute moment with the kids.”
We all need a little perspective, especially in the social media age. There is something about Christmas that leads us to value the kinds of things that will keep us from every missing out, no matter how much we may actually miss.
“Here are five popular Christian clichés that aren’t biblical and therefore need a memorial service.”
Most of us have heard all of these, and they are usually said with good intentions. But, like the author says, they are not true. Even if they are said with good intent, believing any of these does not encourage deep faith; it hinders it. Instead of taking things like this at face value, let’s ask ourselves what is really true and choose to encourage with the gospel, not simply good will.
“I’ll be honest, at times when I’m preaching the gospel to myself I get so excited about applying the benefits of the gospel to a weary and insecure soul that I run through that part about repentance. Much like morning breath, my feelings of guilt make me aware that something needs to be done. I’m desperate to apply the remedy but I don’t actually use the right tool to see real lasting change take place.”
We must preach the gospel to ourselves–that we are defined and accepted by what Jesus has made us, not by our performance or what others think. But an essential part of that gospel is turning from wrong motives & wrong behaviors (sin) because of what Jesus has done.
Who has a better story to tell at parties than, “Did I tell you about the time I fought a kangaroo?” The first 40 seconds give you all the goods. The rest are just interviews and what people thought about it. Enjoy!