In our Young Women's class today, the teacher showed the girls the Church videos for their Christmas season focus #lighttheworld. I generally have a pretty bad attitude about inspirational videos in general- cause videos, cute animal videos, spiritual videos, whatever. I have a hard time not picturing the 'emotional journey' maps we would make back in my fundraising days and imagining marketing departments and filmographers mapping music and scenes accordingly. Feel inspired? Bah Humbug.
THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS. The theme this year is 'Give as He Gave' and I will admit they moved me. Besides the fact that Church has clearly upped their diversity represesntation game (most clips don't look like they were filmed in Utah by white Utahns), what struck me is that lighting the world is a principle of action. Too often, we talk about charity and Christlike behavior as one of simply being kind. Smiling at people, sitting by them, being generally positive. All good things, no doubt about it. But we get lulled into passive goodness. What I see in these videos is action: giving, shoveling, break-dancing for the elderly. A young boy makes a makeshift Christmas tree for his family, musicians play music on a street corner, donated goods are collected, sorted, and handed over.
Giving as Christ gave can be an attitude of kindness, but at it's core, it must take action.