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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Gospel of Saturday Night Live

Are you spending money you don’t have this holiday season?

In a recent cover story entitled “The Urge to Splurge,”, Newsweek reports that “the new frugality” is already over and people are spending money they don’t have.  Even though 89% of Americans tell Gallup they’re watching their expenditures very closely, spending is heading back up anyway.

Which leads us to the gospel of Saturday Night Live.  In this clip featuring Steve Martin and Amy Poehler, we see a couple struggling to grasp the concept of not buying something unless they can afford it.  It is very funny and a little painful.

Last week I invited you to use our Advent Reflections to slow down during this holiday season.  In week one, I was struck by the inclusion of these ancient words from the book of Proverbs:  “Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold.”

This “Lady Wisdom” from the Old Testament is no shy, retiring figure.  Listen to her bellow in this translation of Proverbs 8 from The Message.  Pretend someone asked her if they should buy stuff they can't afford.

Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling?  Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice?  She’s taken her stand at First and Main, at the busiest intersection.
Right in the city square
Where the traffic is thickest, she shouts,
“You—I’m talking to all of you, everyone out here on the streets!
Listen, you idiots—learn good sense!
You blockheads—shape up!
Don’t miss a word of this—I’m telling you how to live well,
I’m telling you how to live at your best.
My mouth chews and savors and relishes truth—I can’t stand the taste of evil!
You’ll only hear true and right words from my mouth
Proverbs 8, The Message

This advent season Lady Wisdom provides a not so subtle reminder that this season is not about what we spend.  Focus instead on relationships; justice; spiritual life, beauty and joy. Be willing to pause to listen for this instruction and guidance.

“O come, thou Wisdom from on high, who orders all things far and nigh; to us the path of knowledge show, and teach us in her ways to go.”

If you would like to tap into this Wisdom, take some time with the Lumunos Advent Reflections in the next week. Let us know what you are discovering.

Doug Wysockey-Johnson
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