A Merry Selfie Christmas,
We live in a generation that gives us more options to be selfish than ever before. We can tweet 140 words about our lives, post a status update to our wall, instagram a photo of the meal in front of us and selfie our world with cameras that focus towards us. There was a day that the camera only focused on others, but now they have turned to focus on the most important person on earth, central figure of our journey, the very being the universe circles around.
I am number one and everyone else are just supporting characters in my narcissistic world view. I am the hero of my story and frankly the hero of everyone elses story. I actually believe everyone else revolves around me. Their stories aren’t about them but about me. 2 Tim. 3:2 makes it pretty clear that, “people will be lovers of themselves…” and that love of themselves will be what divides and destroys society.
Our egocentric world view creates a system and a society that wreaks havoc on everyone and everything. Even our actions of helping others are but facades of our own mercenary of self indulgence as we trick our own soul into helping others for selfish kick-backs.
This isn’t our fault. Right? Every advertisement we see, every expression in the media we are accosted with tells us that we are to take care of ourselves and that we are to want it “My way.”
We are told, repeatedly, even brainwashed to believe that the selfie driven impulses of our souls should be acted upon. We should get what we want, even demand it to be so. And, if the insistence doesn’t work we are taught that we should wage war to get what we believe we deserve.
What do we deserve?
Happiness? No, but the pursuit of Happiness.
Food? No, but the access to food.
Love? No, but the space for love.
We are a people who love others so that they will love us. But we have been called to love others even when they hate us. We tell others that we love them, but when that love and affection isn’t reciprocated we stomp off in a huff and dream of finding a new lover, one who will love us the way we need, want, desire. What we are really looking for in a lover is a prostitute who will fulfill us in the ways we tell her to, but without paying her to do so. Maybe, if we are honest we are really looking for a love slave.
We love the concept of a loving God, but hate it when we feel he isn’t loving us the way we want him to. The only way we can be happy with a vending machine god is when we come to him with our self focused request, push the correct buttons and out pops a love cola, or an answer to our prayer.
Then we turn the corner of the Christmas Season after a vain-glorious year of selfie infused autobiographies and try our darnedest to give gifts to those second cast characters of the movie of me and find it hard, because we don’t know them. We only know them through our own eyes, our own lenses of what they might want, based on what we want from them.
Quickly we realize this gift giving perfunctory performance at Christmas is doomed for failure, because nothing satisfies the selfie soul in all of us. The gifts end up being empty.
Hope in what we will get fades quickly and is discovered to be empty.
Joy we so desire is wrapped in the paper thin facade of unfulfilling gifts.
Peace we pray for is only an empty calm in the ignoring of conflict.
Love we so deeply desire is blocked by our own incessant appetite to snap a selfie and share it with the world.
And our souls heave with deep angst. We sit amongst the heaps of shredded cheap and Santa Claused wrapping paper and empty boxes of empty fulfillment wondering what we have just accomplished. Was this past month of buying, worry, traffic, and hope worth it. Did it satisfy the soul? Is this really what Christmas is all about, is it over before it really began?
We hear people say that “Christmas isn’t going to come this year.” Which often means, “There won’t be very many presents.”
I have news for you. Christmas can’t, by definition, come. Christmas doesn’t and can’t do anything on it’s own. Christmas isn’t a physical package bearing being that can walk into your holiday and shower you with gifts.
But there is one who can. There is one who can fulfill. There is one who can bring dreams to reality. There is one who can bring light into darkness. There is one who can transform hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. There is one who can bring death life.
Christmas is but a celebration that belongs to Christians who understand the value of the Sent Savior and Risen Lord. There is no selfie album in the Kingdom of God.
What if we let Christmas do something new to our souls this year? What if we allowed the celebration of the birth of the King to transform our attitude towards the life we live. What if our attitudes made a difference in world and the responses of those around us? What if we gained influence in an influencial city for the Glory of Christ Jesus.
But is it possible to change the course of society; a society that is recklessly careening towards chaotic doom? Can we make a difference? Maybe we can’t change the planet. But we can bring change to those who are close to us. One by one. Neighbor by neighbor. House by house. Street by street.
Think about the so called first Christmas. In a place of zero influence.
Prophecy was spoken
The time was right
Waiting was over
Bethlehem was prepared
Mary was chosen
The Angel presented
The Gift was given
The Virgin was pregnant
A Journey ensued
The Rooms were full
The Stable was entered
The Savior was born
In the Manger he was placed
No Cameras, No lights, No Royalty
Humble circumstances, A quiet Gift
Silent Night, Holy Night.
A Star shown bright
Wise men worshipped
Jesus came to fulfill God’s promise to us.
Not because we deserved it.
Not because we had been found faithful.
Not because we prayed to the vending machine god to come and rescue us and fulfill our every desire.
But because God promised to rescue us even when we hated him.
He sought us out, when we had our backs to him.
He searched for us, when we were hiding from him.
He would call out for us when we were muffling our ears.
He would run after us while we were running away.
His album is full of pictures of us, while we were filling our album full of the latest selfie posting.
When we realize the greatest gift ever given was Jesus our eyes turn outward and our photography becomes about others. We realize that the latest selfie is but an empty apparition of the past, but the photo taken of others creates the future and fulfills the soul’s longing.
We become a people who influence an entire generation to turn towards the creator God, the true center of the universe, the real main character of the story of earth.
When the story of Christmas is told this year, may it tell the tale of you turning the camera around. Instead of celebrating yet another Merry Selfie Christmas, may it be a Merry Selfless Christmas.
You can’t do that if you have never received the gift of Life from the King.