I realise that the celebration of Christmas is becoming increasingly secular with declining levels of Biblical Literacy. If you want to check out your knowledge of bible versus popular misconceptions try this short quiz from the Bible Society.
I know that the news focuses on the stories of crazed shopping, fighting over bargains, vast amounts of money being spent and not so much on the good work that is done at this time of year to address issues such as loneliness and homelessness.
Even so, I was a little surprised by the extent to which the "Season's Greetings" that I received in an email from an Accountancy Firm was so at odds with my view of what this time is all about.
Here's what they sent me ( if it looks a bit odd it's because I've blanked out the name of the firm in question )…
In the narrative to which I cleave, the Magi came to worship a new born king. With them they brought extravagant gifts, giving freely. The message being transmitted here however seems to me to be the complete antithesis. Rather than giving costly gifts we have them written off to expenses and tax deductions. Rather than coming to offer themselves we instead have a self satisfying "in it for what I can get back" attitude. A, probably unwitting, extra emphasis coming from the fact that it is the gift of Myrrh, with its symbolism of the suffering and self sacrificial death that Jesus would face, that has been replaced by the self centred attitude of one of the company directors. "Wise"? I beg to differ.