I love how Christmas brings out a generous, consider the needs of others side in people. The fact that people can buy each other gifts that they've taken time to chose knowing it will make the recipient extremely happy and anticipating that smile of delight (hmmm and no socks don't usually count!) is a reminder of the good in us all.
However this Christmas our generousity does not just extend to our nearest and dearest but the very global economy, or at least our own UK one itself! It would seem that us consumers can save the world by spending, spending and spending. Yes by doing the very things that got us carried away with greed in the first place - spending money we didn't have on things we didn't need - we can get back to those golden good times!
I can remember a time when the measures reported were things like GDP, volumes of exports and imports etc. Now its all about consumer confidence, consumer spending, consumer borrowing. Consumer! Consumer! Consumer!In short its what the adverts have been telling us for awhile now, in the market we the consumers are kings (or queens)! Admitedly our kingdom is looking a little threadbare right now but what better excuse for giving it a brand new refit.
Whilst the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams can critique the government economic policy of trying to re-kick the cheap credit cycle as being like "an addict returning to the drug" (is that like a dog returning to its vomit?) the Prime Minister can go all good samaritan on us and respond and say that it is wrong to walk by on the other side of the road when people are suffering (in this case its those irresponsible unregulated bankers that are the thieves who have left us all bruised and battered).
So in the midst of all the staggering enormities of the credit crunch and our own personal fears and worries, where and how do we locate ourselves as christians? Spending money this christmas might or might help us become global economic saviours but how does the world encounter its true saviour through us at this time?