"Wonder rather than doubt is the root of all knowledge."
Abraham Joshua Heschel
How do we apply this in Advent? Well, the wisest man that I know was preaching in our church tonight, and he said something along the following lines (my shorthand couldn't keep up, but it's true to the spirit of what was said):
If a secular society wants to turn Advent into a spending spree or festival of light in midwinter, that's their choice. And we join in. But we are called to affirm the wonder and mystery of Advent.
I was reflecting on these two thoughts and thinking that the church, and individual Christians, need to stop being negative about consumerism gone mad in Advent, and start being positive about the story of Christmas. By all means enjoy the season, but make sure that you spend time in reflection, wonder and prayer. Also, share the good news with others.
Then I came across a news story about John Sentamu, Archbishop of York. To avoid any doubt, I absolutely support his actions. His action - visual in its appeal and prophetic in its message - strikes me as an appropriate way for a Christian (whether leader or not) to express negative feeligns about something. In other words, when we choose to convey a message of opposition, make sure that the issue concerned is sufficiently important, and that the message is clear.
Wasn't a significant part of Christ's message about supporitng the poor and oppressed, rather than sooking up tae the high heid yins?