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Giving Nothing for Christmas?

Consider what Jesus said about wealth and how he told us that we cannot love both God and money (i.e. material things) at the same time (Matt 6:24). Danish religious philosopher Soren Kierkegaard commented on this, “I wish that Jesus had said, ‘should not’ instead of ‘cannot.’ But Jesus made it either/or.” We can’t have it both ways.

Jesus acknowledged that we have needs such as food, basic clothing and adequate housing, but we have become a people who are primarily focused on securing things that we don’t need. Consider the problem we face at Christmas: what do we buy for people who already have everything? The answer to this question should be easy: Nothing!

But few of us have the courage to say on Christmas morning, “Nobody is getting anything because everyone in this family has everything!” Instead we will search for something to buy for people who already have everything they need. Such behavior is absurd, yet it’s what we do. We work long hours, often at the expense of giving time to our families, just to earn enough money to buy too many things that nobody needs.

- Tony Campolo, "Trusting God in a Consumerist Society," Red Letter Christians blog, March 13, 2011