I was in my local grocery store recently, and I saw a sign advertising, “this week’s feature … pretzel roll sandwiches.” Now I’m a Delanco Camp enthusiast, so of course to me “pretzel roll sandwich” means a certain thing, foil wrapped pretzeliciousness. Whatever it is that the grocery store is offering is clearly not the real thing. It’s a fake. How do I know that? It’s because I have personal experience with the real thing.

There are a lot of things out there that are fake. Companies are telling us that if we buy their product it will satisfy us, but this is a false promise. We won’t find real satisfaction from buying something. Candidates are telling us that if we vote the right way we will be taken care of, but this is a another false promise, no elected official can protect us from the dangers of life. Our culture tells us that money and prestige bring lasting happiness, but this is false. All those things will be gone soon enough, and while they are here they will just bring people trouble.

The scriptures say:

Blessed is the one
who trusts in the LORD,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.
Many, LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
-Psalm 40:4-5

There are two very different ways of understanding this Christmas season. One way is the way of the proud, the way of the false gods of more stuff, more lights, bigger shows, moneymoneymoney, and the joy of excess. The other way is the way of the true God who was born as one of the homeless, and who’s life took him to death row. Many are the wonders he has done. None can compare with him.

If you can have personal experience with the real thing, you won’t be fooled by the fakes.

Dave Brown is a former camper, summer staff member and has served in various administrative and volunteer capacities at the camp for many years. 

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