WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT...ALFIE?
November 29, 2004
"What's it all about Alfie, is it just for the moment we live?" That's the opening line to one of Dionne Warwick's signature songs. I was reminded of these lyrics when I saw head lines reporting the American people had spent $8 billion dollars the day after Thanksgiving for "Christmas."
Eight billion dollars in one day. - for what? While I believe after much research that our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, wasn't born on December 25th, but probably sometime in September, most people acknowledge His birth on that date. A little over two thousand years ago, three wise men visited the Christ child in a stable bearing gifts. These three wise men (Magi) are called Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar by Western Christians. Melchior offered gold to the Lord as he would to a King. The younger, Gaspar, honored baby Jesus as God with incense, denoted a gift worthy of divinity. Balthasar, the third Magi, gave myrrh which declared the Son of Man who was to die.
Somehow this noble, solemn and historic event has morphed into Americans stampeding to stores to buy birthday presents for each other to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Our nightly news here in Sacramento showed film clips marking this "celebration of the birth of Jesus" of women pushing and shoving at a sale table trying to get the best deal on junk from Communist China or Communist Hong Kong.
Other film clips allowed the viewer to see people lined up in front of big chain stores hours before they opened to get the best bargain. I wonder how many of those people would ever line up for hours outside a church to give homage to God? As I watched this nauseating behavior, I thought of those words from Ms. Warwick's song, "...is it just for the moment we live?"
Every year at this time, the herding technique is kicked into full swing by the great programmer (TV) and Americans shell out billions of dollars in celebration of what? A friend reminded me of a passage from the King James Bible;
"For the customs of the people are vain; for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the worked of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not." -- Jeremiah 10:3 and 10:4:
Kind of reminds me of Christmas trees. Yes, they are beautiful, but what does it really mean? What is all this hurry up and buy each other presents to put under a tree every December 25th? What does all this buying of expensive jewelry, clothing and cheap, plastic toys made in foreign countries have to do with celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ?
Some will argue that this is the "season for giving." I give all year to charities, groups and organizations because I want to, not because I'm forced. I give gifts to those I love, like and respect during the year, I don't wait until December 25th. I resent being forced to participate in something I find so repugnant just because "everyone else does it." Thankfully, I was able to convince my family years ago to quit the madness. Of course this is a personal decision and some folks just won't be able to break the habit or feel pressured by other family members to participate, even when they don't want to and really can't afford a spending spree.
Someday you won't be here
Tonight when you go to bed and turn off the light, remember that no one escapes this life alive. We all die. One day your physical body won't be there in your bed, at the kitchen table drinking coffee or in your SUV. What will your life have meant? Will this yearly, obscene spending spree have anything to do with the moment your soul leaves your physical body and you stand before our Lord to be judged? Will He be impressed with your $500 gift to a girlfriend or a $75.00 violent video game given to your child to celebrate His birth? Would He be more impressed if you lived your life in a state of Grace and taught your children to live a godly life, obeying His Commandments?
I am cognizant that retailers depend on the "holiday season" to bail them out of the red, but it really isn't my obligation or responsibility to go spend money to buy birthday presents for my family when it isn't even their birthday. That's not what the birth of Jesus Christ means to me. While I can't speak for others, I do hope that my fellow Americans who are Christians will think about what they see around them over the next few weeks and ask themselves if this is really what it's all about? Just for the moment the wrapping paper gets ripped off a gift and the children reaching out, grabbing for more?
Our life here on earth is but a moment in time. Eternity is forever. Perhaps it is better to fill your soul with love for God than your living room with "Christmas" presents. Just a thought.
© 2004 Devvy Kidd - All Rights Reserved
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Devvy Kidd authored the booklets, Why A Bankrupt America and Blind Loyalty, which sold close to 2,000,000 copies. Has been a guest more than 1600 times on radio shows, ran for Congress twice and is a highly sought after public speaker. Devvy is a contributing writer for www.NewsWithViews.com Devvy's web site is: www.devvy.com; is sponsored by El Dorado Gold; e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org