Thursday, November 20, 2008

Too Much Stuff?

For those of us living in the United States, we’re entering into what is often called “the holiday season.” Like there is a season for holidays, or holy days. As if each day wasn’t holy in its own way.

These days that encompass Thanksgiving and Christmas (and on to New Year’s Day) get lumped together because one launches the shopping season and the others mark it’s conclusion. If you have any money left by the time you reach the end of November, prepare to see it vanish by the time the calendar year comes to a close.

Maybe this was obvious to everyone else, but this year I am struck by the contrast of a day where we celebrate the multitude of blessings we have, giving thanks to God for gracious love and goodness, and before the turkey and pie have been digested and before we have concocted our first configuration of leftovers, we launch into a frenzied attempt to acquire, consume and collect more stuff. At anytime, the sanity of this could be questioned, but the timing here leaves me amazed.

Have you ever heard Eric Bibb’s song, “Too Much Stuff”? It’s a good listen as we get ready for this season of consumption.

Is there any way out of this insanity? Actually there is. On the day after Thanksgiving, stay home, make yourself a sandwich, sit by your computer, and visit the website for The Advance. Have your Christmas list by your side – most of those folks are people who already have too much stuff. Then make donations in their name to United Methodist missions.

· 100% of your gift goes to people in need.
· All of the Advance’s operating expense comes from World Service Fund apportionments.
· Your gift can be acknowledged with an email or you can print out a beautiful card.

You will have done something extremely appropriate for the season that falls between the remembrance of our blessings and the birth of the Savior!

-- Rev. Dr. Ken Sloane, Director of Communications Ministry, United Methodist Communications

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