Notes from Jan

Discounting Christianity

November 29, 2018

The box read: EVERYTHING CHRISTIAN for less.

Troubling words.

Black Friday taunts Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday muscles into the workweek, and we who call ourselves, followers of Christ, must cringe at the notion Christianity’s become discountable.

Of course, that’s not what the marketing department meant, but…

Look at what’s happened in the news media and culture-at-large to the name “Evangelical’?

Which is why the box I hauled into my home haunts me.

The cardboard box contained an Advent Calendar for a grand niece, a nativity set suitable for a young child’s play, a couple of books to peruse for our Advent reading group and three other books. I felt good about the discounted prices but hadn’t noticed the slogan, “EVERYTHING CHRISTIAN for less” until I reached to lift the box from the car into the house.  Tried positioning it so no neighbor would catch sight of the sacrilege, which is how I viewed those words.

Discounts matter, like lower gas prices, two for one sales on items really needed,  or a 40% markdown on a winter coat at the onset of cold weather. I, like many who purchase books and supplies for churches and Sunday Schools, appreciate lower prices at this distribution center.

All was well, until I read those four words on the side of the box, which leaves me puzzling.

What is Christianity, if one can obtain everything Christian for less?

Thank God, Advent’s almost here, a time to resist the lure of the marketplace and seek a quiet place to listen and learn from saints who’ve gone before and those who live among us, unheralded.

“Tis the season for remembering angels still sing, shepherds still keep watch, and folks, for no earthly reason, still hold out hope there’s something more.

There is.










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  • Reply Rita Smith Dove November 29, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Lord, have mercy!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg November 30, 2018 at 2:49 am

      Yes, dear Rita! We also need courage to live lives that demonstrate the heart and mind of being a follower of Christ. It’s more costly, not less, than I’ m sometimes willing to pay. Lord, have mercy.

  • Reply James Trent November 29, 2018 at 10:02 pm

    Yes, indeed!

  • Reply Jan Carlberg November 30, 2018 at 2:50 am

    Thanks for reading and responding, Jim.

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