The Rev Sam Wells, vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square in the Church of England had an essay published by the Evening Standard, calling for more materialism at Christmas. No, not that kind of materialism, but a Christian perspective that sees God immanent in the world around us and not some far away, disengaged deity.
“God doesn’t watch from afar like some benevolent grandfather watching the children play at the bottom of the yard. God joins in. A God who watches us from a distance is a God we can keep at a distance. A God who takes human form is a God that comes up close and personal.
Christmas is about how God went to great lengths to relate to people who needed God but weren’t sure they much wanted God. Celebrating Christmas means going to such lengths to relate to people who need us but aren’t sure they want us. This is Godly materialism: hugging those whom no one hugs, eating with those with whom no one eats, listening to those to whom no one listens, touching those whom no one touches, remembering those whom no one remembers, loving those whom no one loves.
This is what God did at Christmas: this is what we can do at Christmas. This is how to celebrate a material God. It’s time to stop trying to be more spiritual than Jesus. Godly materialists seek God in human form. Godly materialists are shepherds roaming in Bethlehem looking for Jesus among teenage parents and homeless people and those who live among farm animals. Godly materialists remember Jesus’s parents fled Bethlehem for Egypt and are on the lookout for Jesus among immigrants and refugees and those in fear of their lives in a new country.”
Read the whole thing here.