Over ten years ago, a few pastors were lamenting how they’d come to the end of an Advent season exhausted and sensing they’d missed it again: the awe-inducing, soul-satisfying mystery of the incarnation.
No wonder there was a dread at the beginning of each new season as they prepared to proclaim, celebrate, and worship around the story of God entering our world as one of us.
A creeping kind of idolatry was consuming them and their communities.
It seemed as if everyone was drowning in a sea of financial debt and endless lists of gifts to buy. An overwhelming stress had overtaken any sense of worship. People now believed the marketing lie that spending money is the best way to express love. This, combined with the American mindset that “more must be better” was now consuming congregations.
Somehow, this had become the new normal. This had become everyone’s Christmas routine. Every year people were being devoured by the Christmas frenzy, and every year the Advent season ended with a sinking feeling that once again, they’d missed the point.