Tuesday, December 02, 2008

We wish you a trendy Christmas...

Advent: in
War on the war on Christmas: out

Electric guitars: in
Acoustic guitars: out

Multi-site churches: in
Megachurches: out

Fireproof: in
Left Behind: out

evangelical trends - ericcastillo.blogspot.com

(BTW: Even though the Left Behind series has been left behind, Kirk Cameron is still sticking it through with the new movie Fireproof, a surprise hit with Christians and sinners alike.)

It's pretty hard to keep up with the trends among evangelicals nowadays. Having attended church with them for 8 years I thought I knew their inner workings but you just never can be sure what Pat Robertson is going to come up with next.

Here's an insider's tip for figuring it out: Just step in to any national Christian bookstore chain and take a look around to see what's on prominent display. If you're just too lazy to make the trip, take a virtual trip online and see what's on the homepage. Right there, after the TestaMints and just before the wall-to-wall Bibles, will be your answer.

Want a hint about this year's trend? Here's an excerpt from the USA Today article Evangelicals adopting Advent:

"Family Christian Stores, the nation's largest Christian retailer with 301 stores nationwide, has seen sales of Advent-related items climb 35% in the past year."

If you thought the retail industry could commercialize Christmas, just wait to see what evangelicals can do with Advent. You can easily purchase all of your Advent wreaths and calendars at your local Christian bookstore or online, just be sure the first thing you buy is a Dummies Guide to Advent (which surprisingly does not exist, yet).

I'll be the very first to admit that I know next to nothing about the celebration of Advent. A quick wiki search solved that but still, I don't have any real understanding of the history, practice, or significance of Advent.

And I might like to learn. I'm certain there are beautiful traditions with rich meaning behind them. I just don't want my introduction to Advent to be through a Veggietales felt Advent calendar.

VeggieTales Advent calendar 
So I guess all I'm saying is if you want to practice a new tradition or explore the really old ones, then go for it. By all means, explore, delve deeper, enrich your experience. Just don't do it because your neighbors are doing it or because the Advent wreath was half off. Don't do it because it's a novelty. Don't do it to make you look more interesting to others. Do it because you want a richer experience in life or with God, especially during the holiday season when we are just that much more aware of it.
Happy holidays everyone...

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