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Friday Five: How to Trade Holiday Gloom for Joy

On Fridays, we bring you week’s best from around the web. This week’s collection includes stories of ordinary Christians impacting their cities, a response to the ‘worst Christmas song ever,’ and more.

Abundance Without Attachment by Arthur Brooks, The New York Times

The frustration and emptiness so many people feel at this time of year is not an objection to the abundance per se, nor should it be. It is a healthy hunger for nonattachment. This season, don’t rail against the crowds of shoppers on Fifth Avenue or become some sort of anti-gift misanthrope. Celebrate the bounty that has pulled millions out of poverty worldwide. But then, ponder the three practices above. Move beyond attachment by collecting experiences, avoid excessive usefulness, and get to the center of your wheel. It might just turn out to be a happy holiday after all.

The Top 10 This Is Our City Stories: Editor’s Pickby Katelyn Beaty, Christianity Today

In 2011, our team embarked on a multistate journalistic adventure to find stories of Christians working in business, the arts, media, education, and law to bring comprehensive flourishing to their cities and neighbors. In three years, we found more than 200 such stories.


The Worst Christmas Song Ever by Jordan Ballor, Acton Institute

At this point in the holiday season, whether we like it or not, we’ve all got Christmas melodies echoing through our heads. Everyone has a favorite or two; I particularly enjoy the smooth sounds of Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby. But there are plenty of annoying Christmas tunes as well. One song stands out for Christmas crapulence, however, and it has little to do with the catchiness of the song.

Common Good #8 – Kevin Corinth on Homelessness,” Values & Capitalism

Big picture, Kevin argues that public policy, private organizations, and our personal actions must seek to actually help people who are going through difficult times—rather than simply covering up the symptom of homelessness.

The Sacred-Secular Divide Is Pure Fiction
by Bethany Jenkins, The Gospel Coalition

It is pure invention [fiction] that pope, bishops, priests, and monks are called the “spiritual estate” while princes, lords, artisans, and farmers are called the “temporal estate.” This is indeed a piece of deceit and hypocrisy. Yet no one need be intimated by it, and for this reason: all Christians are truly of the “spiritual estate,” and there is no difference among them except that of office.