Writer, editor, stumbler after Jesus

The lesson of The Advent Sausage

BRITISH supermarket chain Greggs had hoped lots of people would eat their sausage rolls this holiday season. However, the business ended up chewing on a big slab of humble pie instead when a Christmas marketing campaign went horribly wrong.

In case you missed it, Greggs’ 2017 Advent calendar featured a nativity scene with three magi kneeling round—not the infant Jesus but—a large sausage roll. Hopefully, members of the marketing team are already rethinking their Easter campaign as they quietly dust off their resumes.

Personally, I was more amused/amazed that anyone could make such a misstep than deeply offended. I’d have loved to have been in the Greggs’ PR office when the phones started ringing off the hook. But the whole pig-in-a-blanket, rather than a child-in-a-manger, episode reminded me of a Christmas exhortation I heard many years ago.

It comes straight from the account in Matthew’s Gospel, and it may serve as a reminder or an invitation for you in the lead-up to Dec. 25. You may not have thought Herod, one of the villains of the Christmas story, had anything good to say to you. But consider his direction to the wise men who came to him as they followed the star:

“…search diligently for the child…” (Matt. 2:28, ESV).

In other words, it may take a bit of effort to find Jesus. So, rather than getting huffy about the commercialism or the secularization, this year determine to keep looking. Somewhere in the busyness, He is to be found.

The process may be helped by searching for the child within. Perhaps like Scrooge you have grown jaded and cynical, or maybe you are just tired and discouraged. For whatever reason the Christmas lights might have dimmed, chances are somewhere inside there’s probably still a part of you that remembers when they burned brightly.

Be open to the memory, the recall, that may be sparked by an old song, a favorite movie scene, or a kitchen aroma. Allow it to take you back to:

Childlike wonder.

Childlike joy.

Childlike trust.

Childlike hope.

Childlike delight.

Childlike faith.

Good luck in your search for the child this Christmas season.

Photo by Terry Bain on Foter.com/CC BY-NC-ND

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