The Manger Mindset

My latest sermon, “The Manger Mindset” is now online.

I agree with Robert Webber when he argues that the most pressing question of our time is “Who gets to tell the world’s story?” That’s why during Advent Ron and I used some of the popular Christmas stories from Luke and Matthew to help us think through 3 “grand stories” or worldviews that are competing for the right to tell the world’s story in American culture today:

  • The Grinchy Gimmick is the story that says:  Life is good when I get what I want when I want it. This is the story believed by what one sociologist calls “Generation Me,” because we are witnessing an “Epidemic of Narcissism” in what they say is “The Age of Entitlement.”  When I was a kid, my dad used to get tired of my brother and me asking for stuff, and in frustration would blurt out “I want, I want, I want.  I need, I need.  I gotta have.  Gimme, gimme, gimme!”  This is what flows from the heart of the one who has believed the story we’re calling the Grinchy Gimmick.
  • The Santa Attitude is really the Grinchy Gimmick dressed up in religious garb.  It’s a “sanctified” story that says:  Life is good when God gives me what I want when I want it. It’s individualism baptized in spiritualism.  As I grew older, I learned to sophisticate my selfishness by sanctifying it.  When my prayers began to sound like “I want, I want, I want.  I need, I need.  I gotta have.  Gimme, gimme, gimme!” it was a sign that I was living in a story that produced a Santa Attitude in me.
  • The Manger Mindset is the Story the Bible tells us: Life is good when God gives me what He wants when He wants to give it. The Manger Mindset is the “old, old story of Jesus and His love,” the Story of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration that is unfolding in the pages of the Bible.

Hear the entire sermon at SermonAudio.com.

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