The title of my blog this week comes from the slogan on a McDonld’s McCafe coffee cup. On the back of the cup are these words, “My moment to unwind. It’s time to indulge myself.” I like coffee. When Judy and I travel we always stop in Mcdonald’s for coffee. I also like to stop at Carbou for coffee. I like Caribou’s coffee. On their coffee cup it says “make it merry.” Now I ask you men, what does “Celebrate Season’s craving” or “Make it Merry” have to do with the meaning of Christmas. I realize the church has almost lost the cultural war of trying to bring back “Christmas.” But I have to say, these two slogans show how far we have strayed. We are now trying to invent ways of making the season meaningful.
As believers we know that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” However, these two titles tell me something about the culture. Remember big money is spent coming up with these slogans. Adversting firms spend lot of money to hire pyschologists, so that McDonld’s and Caribou can get you to buy their coffee instead of driving up to Starbuck’s or another coffee place. So what is going on with these slogans. The first thing the strikes me is the fact that we have to create a desire and meaning for the season. One asks you to indulge your craving. This is the season to do it. The other outright asks you to find a reason to be merry. Men, the season has come to be whatever you want it to be. If you can’t find a way to make it merry, at least use the season to indulge yourself.
So I have two “take-aways” from these slogans. The first deals with our cravings. There is something about the holiday season that stirs up positive sentiment like no other time of the year. But could it be that there is less sentiment being experienced since Christmas has lost its meaning. The old sentiment made one feel good about life, by being in a giving, joyful mood. At least that is the way it used to be. But today we are not sure about those sentiments we hear in the Christmas carols. They seem almost out of place. So with the old sentiments sponged out of the way, we have to create new sentiments. McDonald’s says we ought to celebrate the season’s cravings. I just ask – what are the cravings? How do we celebrate them? The coffee cup puts the responsibility upon me to find a way indulge. Men, you want to get stirred and all energized. Just take a few minutes and ponder the magnitude of what God did when He became one of us. John tells us, “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son.” (John 1:14 – The Message). God came to live in your neighborhood and he came to stay. Wow! That should get you “juiced.”
The second “take-away” has to do with the idea that we are to create the sentiment of being “merry.” That show how far we have gotten away from the celebration of God becoming flesh. For me the implication of the caribou slogan is that we still should be merry. We are not sure why we are still supposed to be merry. But this used to be the season for being merry. So make it merry. But I ask – How do you make it merry? We aren’t told what it is. Why should we be merry? The biggest question is for me is, “Why are we being asked to be merry during Nov – Dec. Something got lost. Maybe we are being asked to find it again. Where are people looking?
With that in mind, let me quote from I John 1:1-4 about finding it. “From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in – we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we’re telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly this: the infinite Life of God himself took shape before us. We saw it, we heard it, andnow we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want yoiu to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy! (The Message). So there you have it. The reason to truly be merry.