I think the church has a responsibility to be counter-cultural. Someone needs to point out that, contrary to what Best Buy commercials teach, buying electronics is not the way to get people to love you. And someone -- it might as well be the church -- should point out that contrary to what Zales commercials teach, giving expensive jewelry on the morning of December 25th does not make up for one's being an emotionally distant jerk the other 364 days of the year.
But here's the thing: the danger the church runs into is coming across as grouchy spoil-sports. That's a huge irony, because the season of Advent SHOULD be a season of joyfully anticipating Christmas.
Unfortunately, though, it seldom is, at least not the way most Episcopal church's observe it.
I've come to believe that Advent -- …