Friends- I opened my inbox this morning to find an email from my dad about the U.N.'s latest project- a gift actually. Christmas. The season for giving, right? Not exactly. Unfortunately, this present has a $23 million dollar price tag and isn't intended for any of the world's many current human rights victims.
With civil war raging in the D.R.C., what could be more important than impressive art with a sticker price to match. You heard me. Art. I mean we can't have the U.N.'s Human Rights Council bogged down this holiday season with the world's troubles. What would be better to relieve the enormous pressure that they must be facing than an ascetically pleasing work environment?
Spanish artist, Miguel Barcelo, was commissioned to create a 16,000-square-foot mural on the ceiling of the Human Rights Council's chambers at the U.N. European headquarters in Geneva. As if that isn't sickening enough, the AP is reporting that Spain footed a significant chunk of the bill by contributing almost $650,000 of taxpayer money from funds that were earmarked for overseas development aid. Evidently, the Congo didn't qualify but I don't think murals do either.
To be clear, none of this surprises me half as much as it troubles me. Ironically, when I read my dad's email this morning, my thoughts drifted to the body of Christ and how we spend our resources, sometimes frivolously. We might not be dropping $23 million for a mural of the resurrected Christ in the seniors Sunday school class (at least I hope not), but are we spending our money, time, and energy in a way that makes it clear that we are all about the mission of Jesus? I'm not always so sure when I look at the lifestyles of many Christians- myself included.
It seems that every year Christmas comes and goes and for many of us it has been stripped of its significance by our over commercialized culture. As we celebrate the coming of Christ this December, lets be reminded that God sent his Son for you and me- to seek and save the lost. For those of us that now count ourselves as found in the grace of Jesus, let this Christmas be a time to commit and recommit by the power of God's Spirit throughout the year to proclaiming the Gospel every chance that we have- with all of our resources. Let us spend every ounce of our being not on frivolous things that will only hinder our mission, but on the message and will of the risen Jesus who makes all things new.
Looking forward to Christmas,