Journey with John
Have you noticed the Christmas season gets a little longer each year? Holiday finery surfaced in our stores before Halloween had passed. I suspect this early decorating frenzy has more to do with profits than mangers and angels. (The side of me I like better is convinced people just love Christmas!) I remember one year going to the mall and being unprepared for the message displayed in a consumer targeted message. There were posters all over, showing a huge sleigh with a handsome man, sporty a big toothy grin, (an updated Santa) sitting in the driver’s seat. Piled high and crammed into every corner were gifts of all descriptions. The smiling model had his hands stretched out like he was welcoming the whole world. The caption at the bottom read, “Dear Santa… I want it ALL!”
That happened a number of years ago, but a touch of nausea remains as I think about that greedy display. But after some time to think, rather than rising in righteous indignation, I’m wondering if the sentiment just needs some readjusting. “I want it all” put in the right framework could be a very positive philosophy. Of course, none of us will be ultimately satisfied by a sleigh full of the latest gadgets. The gifts we purchase at the mall or on-line will not bring lasting contentment. We soon grow tired of things and need to constantly replace them with other things. God understands. It is the purpose for the Holy Birth. The Christmas miracle is God’s gift of re-educating us to what it means to have it all!
In Jesus, God gives us ALL there is of value. In Christ’s life, ministry, death and resurrection, we find what we need most. I think about that smiling man in the sleigh, surrounded by presents on all sides. Hidden away in those packages, however, are not the latest i-phone or video games, but rather, the qualities of Christ that touch and bless and convince us that we have it ALL – already! The shining gifts God brings in Christ Jesus are: a sense of humor, a strength of character ready to take on anything, a wisdom that knows the secrets of the ages, a wonder that rejoices in all that is holy, a love that lasts forever… and the list goes on and on. There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that in Jesus Christ, we find it ALL – everything to make life satisfying, joy filled and complete. We just have to do a better job of sharing this Good News, so people aren’t looking for it in Santa’s sleigh. When we do, we will find our peace…. God loves you one and all.