Keeping Perspective

It can be difficult, amid the incessant propaganda to shop and spend, to remember the true meaning of this season. When in doubt, listen to your heart: what will bring lasting joy?

God's Gentleness

God never compels us, but invites us forward — to freedom, to joy, to love, peace, and eternal life. Things that drive us; that imprison us with unceasing demands which can never be fulfilled ... those are not from God.

Photo of a flower

Shopping Prayer by Deborah Beach Giordano

Amid the Noise

Holy God of us all,
Giver of life,
Lover of our souls,

time after time
you have tried
to set us free from slavery —
with the Exodus from Egypt;

drawing Your people
away from servitude,
so that their labors
would not support
the vain strivings
of the rich and powerful,
but be put to good use
in careful stewardship
of the earth,
to one another,
for those in need,
and joyful worship
of You.

Yet here we are
being led
into temptation
by the Pharaohs
of Madison Avenue
who seek to enslave us,
luring us
with glossy advertisements,
catchy slogans,
and clever animation
perfect comfort and joy
and contentment ...

Some restrictions may apply.
Examples not representative.
Your results may vary.

We are blinded to the Truth
of this sacred Season
by bright colors,
sparkling lights,
glamorous models
and grinning elves
enticing us
to worship idols
made of cloth and metal
wrapped up
in festive paper
and shiny ribbon.

Do not let us fall
into the snares
designed to obligate us
to soulless corporations,
and chain us
to an insurmountable debt,
condemning us
to long years
of hopelessness
and helplessness.

Save us from ourselves,
almighty Redeemer —
do not let us succumb
to our fears
of inadequacy,
our hunger
for acceptance,
our confused notion
that we can buy
the respect of our neighbors,
the love of our family,
or fill the longing in our soul
with mere things.

Awaken in us
the true Spirit of Christmas:
a passionate desire
to imitate our Lord —
praying faithfully,
forgiving generously,
loving extravagantly.


Help us to remember
that those are
the only
“gifts that keep on giving,”
for in them
we shall know
the abundance of joy —
and we
and those we love
will have
a genuinely
Merry Christmas.


Suggested Spiritual Exercise

Stop and take a breath, and say a quiet prayer before you shop and spend. Keep in mind the true Reason for this holy season.