Pastor Mike's Corner
I don’t have to tell you that we are in the midst of the holiday season. No sooner did we say goodbye to the trick or treaters that we now see Christmas decorations, commercials, movies (thank you so much, Hallmark…), and, oh yes, those catalogs and ad books that come in the mail. It is like we skipped over the turkey and went right for the egg nog. Move over green bean casserole, hello Christmas cookies. As consumers, we are forced to deal with the never ending push to get us to buy. We are told in the commercials that we need to buy our spouse a brand new luxury car (with a big red bow on it, thank you Lexus), our kids the latest game (not a board game, but a video game), and to shop till we drop. There’s even a new day on the calendar dedicated to material gluttony: Black Friday. Shop, buy, spend, and then do some more. Hold on there, folks. Can we hit the pause button on this assembly line of discontent?
Thanksgiving is all about remembering to be grateful for everything that God does for His people and for what others do for us. Being thankful for what we have, showing gratitude. Christmas is all about celebrating the coming of the Christ Child, Jesus, the gift given by the Father for all mankind to have a way to know Him personally. Jesus is the gift given to us. We give gifts to those we love, just like God the Father did for us, because He loves us so. So, when did the holiday season become the time of year where we feel enormous pressure to spend money we don’t have on things that most people don’t need? Why do we fall into the pit of materialism that our culture pushes us towards this time of year?
Stop. Breathe. How about we become like the Apostle Paul where he said that “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am”. (Philippians 4:11). Why are we not content? The world tells us that we don’t have enough. If Americans became content like Paul then there would be a lot of freaked out stores with stuff they couldn’t sell. Contentment is a place of peace where we are ok no matter if we have a little, or we have a lot. We’re good. We actually say no, and we are ok with that.
This holiday season, let me challenge you to learn contentment. If you have to spend money shopping this season, do for those less fortunate. We all know folks that have true needs. Not for the latest cell phone, but for simple clothes or groceries. Contentment. It’s a place where we understand that God is taking care of us, and things can’t make or break our life. We have peace. What really matters this time of year? Relationships. Taking care of true needs. And, of course, the gospel. Because there would be no Christmas without the Christ Child, and the gospel of the good news that His coming brought to mankind. So if you really want to give the best present this year, Give someone the gift of the gospel. Best. Gift. Ever.