Y’all know it’s been Christmas out in the stores for a while. A few weeks ago I came across these two churches which are being sold alongside various little village buildings. On first glance, they’re not too different. Quaint little ceramic church buildings all lit up, ready to be placed on mantles or fake-snow-covered sideboards across America.
But look more closely–these two churches express two very different identities. One is white, glittery, and pristine. Three robed choristers stand in front of the church doors serenading passers by with carols. The bell swings in the steeple. All is washed in sparkly white and silver. The building feels closed up, all the light coming from external bulbs. A classic (if oddly glittery!) life-size nativity scene is set up on the corner of the lot.
In the other, the colors are just a bit too vivid, the warm light spills out through the windows. There are two signs to the right of the door: “Canned Goods” and “Christmas Donations & Toy Drive.” The sidewalk is blocked by donated food, blankets, stuffed animals, even wrapped gifts.
Isn’t it interesting that somewhere a marketing team has decided these are the two most expected images of the church?
Which church is most appealing? Which says most about what Christmas–God becoming like human beings–means? Which church looks most like your church?