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 You have been stuck with me as your pastor for nearly two decades.  That means you have been exposed to my good habits and bad ones.  You know my peccadilloes.  (The word “peccadillo” means “little sins”).  One is that around this time of year, when advertisements especially for Christmas gifts use church, Bible or theological language, I make a point of calling it into question, sometimes from the pulpit.  Well the internet hit me with one today.  It isn’t an ad about Christmas, but it promotes a luxury item for sale and uses our words.  I protest! I was minding my own business reading the news on the internet (I read newspapers on the internet so I am really reading yesterday’s news.)  As I was saying, I was minding my own business reading the news when an ad popped up.  The tag line said, “Feel the Power of Sanctuary.”  Guess what the ad was selling?  The Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Plug-In Hybrid Electric.  There’s a mouthful!  We older folk can remember when if asked what kind of car we drove could answer with just one or two syllables.  “What kind of care do you drive?  “Ford.”  “Chevy.”  “Rambler.”  (HA!)  “Chrysler.”  Or even just two letters!  “VW”  Now it’s, “What kind of car do you drive, “A Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Plug-in Hybrid Electric.”  Or one of my other favorites, “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”  (BMW.)  Once upon a time we called them “cars” or at the maximum high-brow, “automobiles.”  That’s not my point.  My point is the co-opting or downright theft of our word, “sanctuary.”  People usually think of sanctuaries as places of peace.  A wild life sanctuary is a place where animals are safe – hunting is forbidden.   But the word “sanctuary” is based on the root Sanctus and means “holy.”  It’s our word in the church, first and foremost.  There is no way on earth or in haven that a Lincoln is holy, not even if the Pope drives it.  (This Pope drove a Ford Focus).  So I did a little research about this “sanctuary” in the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring Plug-in Hybrid Electric.”  I found their description on line.  It says, “Let you stress slip away with the L.A.G.T.P.H.E.  (I didn’t want to type that whole thing out again.)  This car has a base price of $51,495.00.  “I’ll take two please.”   You really have a problem if you can only cope with your stress by driving a fifty two thousand dollar car.  Speaking for myself, if I owned one of these and drove it to Shop-Rite my stress would go through the roof worried that it would get scratched or dinged.  And I’d be upset paying for the extra auto insurance for such an expensive car.  So here’s a thought.  If you have lots of stress (and some spare money), give to the Salvation Army to feed a family with hungry children and “food insecurity.”  Or buy some food for when we serve at the soup kitchen.  Then put your imagination to work and picture an unfortunate family who are getting a wonderful nutritious meal because of you.  THAT will wipe away your stress! Don’t get me wrong.  I am not against luxury or high end items.  After all, I have a sailboat, right?  What is troubling is to think we will have peace and stress free lives if we buy items like this. My Lord and yours said, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  Happiness and holiness can’t be bought.  In fact true happiness and holiness can only be received from God.  In fact the Bible says in Matthew, “Happy are the poor in spirit.”    And Luke puts it, “Happy are the poor.”   “Store up for yourselvelves up treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust consume and where thieves do not break in and steal.” said Jesus. Material things are great.  Many suburbanite men take pride in their lawn tractors.  Lots of guys covet their tools.  Not to sound sexist but I had two daughters who loved shoes. None of the things we own are holy (except your Bible of course).  And the question we need to ask is do we own them or do they own us?  In his famous commencement speech, Denzel Washington said he had never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul.  And to my dear friends in the advertising world – keep your hands off our words!  You diminish them when you misuse them.  Although you do give me material for my writing  J.  The Lincoln Aviator is probably a good car.  I always had great luck with Ford products.  But if you think it is a stress reliever, I have other ideas for you.  Go to worship!  Read your Bible.  Get down on your knees and talk to your God and listen to him.  Follow Jesus.  Serve when we house the homeless.  Lend your elderly neighbor a hand.  There is probably good feeling owning an expensive vehicle.  There is no denying’ it.   But it cannot bring you closer to Jesus.  It cannot forgive your sins.  It cannot make you a better person.  It cannot make things right when you have a quarrel with your spouse.  Getting ready to finish this up, I found there is an advertisement about this being broadcast.  Lo and behold there is an ad narrated by Matthew McConaughey showing how this car relieves your stress.  Just to show I am a good sport – it really is a good ad.  It's fun, funny and sweet.  Cute.  Here is what the automotive news service, Newswheel says about the ad:  “In the ad, McConaughey wonders what happens to the stress that seems to just vanish whenever someone drives a Lincoln. This is accompanied by images of all sorts of calamities that would no doubt cause stress. You’ve got the busted grocery bag, the kinked hose, and the can of carbonated soda exploding in your face.”  You can see the commercial at  New Lincoln Commercial Asks 'Where Does the Stress Go' - The News Wheel