This morning as I taught the youth Sunday School class an interesting question was posed to me. It went something like this, “Is it wrong to ask for things at Christmas?” Maybe as you hear that question you cringe at the thought that your Christmas presents will be cut out by my answer. Maybe you are salivating thinking that I am going to rail against the materialism of this season. Maybe you will be surprised by my answer. I said no, given that someone asks you what you would like. On the other hand telling someone who has not asked what you want is wrong.
The underlying question that must also be answered is “Why?” Answering why it is right to answer someone who asks you what you would like for Christmas seems easiest. It is always right to answer someone truthfully. After all the tenor of the ninth commandment is that you should always tell the truth whether in speech to your neighbor or with others against your neighbor. Furthermore if you truly do not want anything, then telling the truth should not be a problem here.
Answering why it is wrong to share with someone who has not asked you is more difficult. I ask you simply to look to Matthew 15:18-19. Jesus states that it is what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart. One might paraphrase this by saying that it reveals or betrays one’s heart state. Look at the list of sins that comes after Jesus’ statement. To tell someone who has not asked what you want for Christmas or any gift giving day betrays that your heart is set on materialistic things. This is especially poignant when we think about the meaning of Christmas. Like the shepherds in the field we should come to the manger and leave making known the Savior who has come (Luke 2:16-17). Otherwise why do we celebrate this holiday?
Remember the uproar when stores stopped allowing employees to say “Merry Christmas.” Maybe you were one of those up in arms. Personally, I did not get too upset. In fact I was somewhat relieved. I do not want my Savior’s name connected to a Holiday that promotes greed, selfishness, wanton over-extension of credit, self promotion at buying a person the right gift, and hours of wasted shopping. In fact I am shocked that those so upset are not equally upset that church members are not sharing their faith. To quote Ann Graham Lotz this Christmas, “Just Give me Jesus!”