And so it begins, even though it began weeks ago and culminated in today’s Black Friday that actually started in some stores nearly a week ago. Sound confusing? It is. But the confusing part is not that people want good deals for their money and stores want to sell as much as possible. That all makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is how the focus on stuff at Christmas is being solidified as the centerpiece of Christmas. It’s a cultural reality that –  like all things cultural – deeply shapes faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. So here’s a challenge. Be counter-cultural this Christmas. Put Jesus at the center of the celebration. Share God’s compassion that we experience in Jesus. And be so filled with the joy of Christmas that people want what you’ve got.