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  • "A Musing Pastor"

What's the next big thing?


There is something wrong with me. There is something wrong with you too. I'm correct on two different levels. Scripturally speaking, on one level, we're all suffering from carnal struggles (sins) and need spiritual renewal through Jesus Christ. The broken and twisted godly image within needs corrected and Jesus is the only Rx for us. On another level, we need instant gratification and are seldom satisfied with what we have. We're always looking for the next big thing. Living expectantly isn't bad but not living fully in the here and now is. Let me explain.

While we might complain that stores are hawking Christmas stuff as early as August or September, we jump right on board with Christmas decorations a week or two before Thanksgiving. Two weeks ago I saw a tractor trailer hauling Christmas trees....cut Christmas trees! My goodness, the trees will be dried out and dead by December 10th. I think our souls are so overcome with the darkness of the world that we need to seek lights and decorations to feel good about life. So, we rush into Christmas because it makes us feel good. We buy things. We wrap things. We bake things. We clean the house and decorate. We give things and receive things. Then December 26th comes and out go the lights, the tree, and down come the decorations so we can aim at the next big thing. Our hope factor seems to always be running in arrears.

Contentment and rich living are two things that never seem to be within our reach. Or at least that is the perception. A long time ago, in a land far far away, my mom and dad would not hint that Christmas was coming soon. There was nothing in our house that would suggest anything fun would occur. We kids knew Christmas was going down the next day and would go to bed with an overwhelming giddiness but the house was vacant of any notion of Christmas.

After we kids went to bed, mom and dad would transform our home into Christmas central. We kids would rise in the morning and miraculously find our stockings lying alongside our beds and they were stuffed full of fun things which always included an apple, an orange, and or a tangerine. Coming down the stairway would only allow us to see the living room door closed. More expectation grew as we waited for every member of our family to get up.

After a certain amount of waiting, we would all enter the living room to see an immaculate tree and decorations all over the house. Boom! Ahhh, those were the days. We enjoyed Christmas into the middle of January and usually enjoyed our toys, clothes, and other gifts much longer than kids do nowadays. (My spell check just informed me that 'nowadays' is an actual word!)

What changed? We did. Culture did. The unwillingness to wait for fun things did. The need for feeling good increased exponentially. We could no longer be content with the same amount of things that a 1966 Christmas could deliver. In many ways, we have grown a tolerance for more more more of whatever makes us feel good. Oddly, the Christmas holiday is much like a drug. The more we get the more we need. Have you ever seen a family or person decorating for Thanksgiving in August or September? Nah, me neither.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take

nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get

rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin

and destruction. (1 Timothy 6:6-9, NIV)

The wrongs inside you and I are fixable. It will take a renewed effort on our part to prioritize those things that are most important to us. Incidentally, those things should be people and not things. Seek after God and all the desires of your hearts will be added. Seek jesus Christ, the light of the world, and you'll not be afraid of the dark. Seek a life that honors God and people and you'll never have to celebrate another holiday two months before it gets here.

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will

never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, NIV)


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First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com