An old ad by the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn shows a young woman taking a selfie. She’s not alone in the picture, though: an image of Jesus is just behind her.
A caption at the top of the ad reads, “It’s never just a selfie,” and at the bottom, the diocese bids viewers, “Join us for Christmas.”
This ad is trying to remind us that God is ever-present. Yet Jesus is nowhere in sight in the Christmas cards I’ve received this year.
Selfies are fascinating. Mario Almonte, a pop culture expert, said this about selfies in an interview:
We are living in a culture of people who are very much involved in themselves and becoming a culture of self indulgence…When they turn that camera on themselves they believe they are so important and so interesting.
Selfies can display creativity and possible hidden artistic talent. After all, many of the great painters like Rembrandt and Van Gogh painted self-portraits.
And yet as Uri Brito writes in the Christian Post,
[Selfies] can also be remarkable testaments to a pathetically self-serving and self-glorifying culture.
Whole-life stewardship calls Christians to give 100 percent of their time, talent, and treasure to serve and glorify God.
It is not about us. It’s about how we plug our lives into God’s grand story.
This truth is so simple yet so easy to forget. It is easy to slip back into the attitude that it is all about us, especially during the busy holiday season.
I don’t listen to much county-western music, but once a song playing on a PBS TV Christmas Special caught my ear.
It was called “Take A Walk Through Bethlehem,” sung by Trisha Yearwood. The second verse is powerful:
Every night another TV special/Merchants counting down the shopping days/But something’s missing underneath the tree
‘Cause every heart longs for more than tinsel/Something more than just a holiday/Come and celebrate the baby King/Let’s take a walk
Take a walk through Bethlehem/Come and kneel before the lamb/Good news for every man/Walk through Bethlehem.
There will be a day when every knee will bow before the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. What a privilege it is for us to now willingly kneel before the Lamb!
Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? To come and celebrate the baby King who has come to make all things new?
Contrary to what culture is telling us, Christmas is not about us. It is about Jesus. Selfies aside, he is still the reason for the season.