Click or Twist?
Have you ever had a moment where you ask yourself “Am I really having this conversation?” Maybe it’s when you met your hero and actually got to talk them. Maybe it was while talking to customer service and the person on the other side of the counter just doesn’t get it. But my absolute favorite ones are when it’s because of something hilariously trivial. One of my favorite examples is an ongoing conversation our church staff has about pens. When I mean ongoing, we’ve probably spent hours trying to decide on what pen to buy. And then we have to go through the process again every so often when we run out of pens.
We have sample pens sent to us. We pass them around, critique the look of the pen (does it look like it’s good quality, does it match our branding colors, would it look stylish in a pocket protector), we test how it writes (ball point, blue or black ink, ultra fine or broad point or somewhere in between), we talk about the weight of the pen (is it too heavy, does the lightness make it feel cheap) and the most important question - what type of cap is there? Is it retractable with a push click on top, or a twist, or the old fashioned cap? Then we have to weigh all that against the price point of the pen. Is it worth it to pay an extra few pennies to get this style of pen that we like more than this other pen that isn’t our favorite but is cheaper?
And by now you are probably thinking the same thing I usually think. Just pick a stupid pen, already! They all work just fine. Welcome to consumerism. 4imprint.com has almost 2000 different pens to chose from. Each one of those pens was designed by somebody who had a particular clientele in mind, but at the end of the day they just leave a mark on paper. They all exist to transfer ink to some surface, all of the other things that make them unique are just extras.
Pens vs. Jesus
This holiday season, you will find plenty of things that will seem important; trying to find the perfect present for somebody, putting up more lights than that one guy across the street, or talking about the latest Starbucks cup design. After a while all of these things feel like we’re just talking about pens again.
Christmas is supposed to be about celebrating the birth of Jesus; not giving, not perpetual hope, not spending time with family. Even though it’s not a traditional Christmas passage, Paul summarized it perfectly:
[Jesus], though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8
Christmas matters because it’s about Jesus, and Jesus matters because through his unconditional love and sacrifice for us, he has saved us all.