We have entered the time of year that Christians call Advent – a time of preparation for the coming of Jesus, the King of kings. More popularly, we have entered what’s known as the Christmas shopping season.
As we come into this season, we are accustomed to hearing about the dangers of materialism. And these admonitions are fitting. For countless souls, there is hardly a thought about the reason for the season, all while consumed with the buying and getting of stuff. So, a warning about materialism is definitely in order.
But along with the warning, we should recognize that there is nothing wrong with material things, per se. Christ’s incarnation during His first Advent makes this obvious.
When Christ came into the world, He did so by taking on a human, fleshly body. As He grew in wisdom and stature, He interacted with the material world. He wore clothes, ate food, rode in boats, and did many other things that we can identify with. Since all these things were from His Father, we can confidently say that He enjoyed them.
At age of 30, Jesus began His three year ministry which ended with His death and resurrection. The purpose of this ministry was to bring redemption to the world. A redemption that applies not just to the spirits of men, but to the whole creation. He came, in other words, that the whole earth would be restored and all the stuff in it would be set apart for the Lord.
All this has a bearing on how we think about the things we get and give for Christmas.