An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The False Gifts of Christmas

(Proverbs 25:14 KJV)  Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.

Think of the false gifts that are offered to us.  Have you ever gone into a store in response to an advertisement and found that it was just a come on.  You forgot to read the fine print.  What about a statement that I see frequently on school walls.  It goes something like this:  “If you can dream it, you can be it.” 

Is Christmas a “gift” (4991) that “boasts” (1984b) “falsely” (8267) to you?  I see offers from time to time for a free round of golf.  It sounds good, until you read the fine print.  You need three friends paying full price for you to get the free one.  Or if you have a coupon from a restaurant, you are seated and ordering, you pull out the coupon, and the server says, “That doesn’t apply on weekends.”  Is Christmas like that to you?

Is Christmas dry wind and clouds to you.  Picture the beautiful tree in the window.  When you get inside you find out it is plastic.  Think of the songs about going home for Christmas and when you get there it isn’t like you remember.  Think about all the specials on TV where everything works out so wonderfully, but it isn’t happening in your life.  Is Christmas like that to you?

I have a thought.  Maybe the problem isn’t in the gift.  It could be in the wrapping.  Does anyone in your family try to wrap gifts in such a way that the Christmas snooper can’t figure out what is inside?  There is deliberate deception involved.  Our world goes out of its way to ignore the meaning that is the cause of Christmas.  Is Christmas like that for you?

 It could be in the receiver.  I remember a time when I wanted a pony.  It really did not matter that a small horse was a totally irrational gift, I was disappointed with just sox.  I know I needed the sox, but I wanted a pony.  Is Christmas like that for you?

Christmas was not initially a big celebration like Easter.  It was the mass of Christ.  It was a day picked by the church, Roman Catholic at the time, to remind its illiterate members of a part of their theology.  It was a teaching moment.  It was part of a liturgy that stretched through the world to remind believers methodically of all the truths that the Bible teaches.  It was a teaching moment with a celebration of the death and resurrection built into the service.  There was partying but it was secular in nature.  There is wisdom in that approach.  The real gift is that God chose that moment to bring the lamb for the sacrifice that was to come.  Focus on the gift before you celebrate the season.  Is Christmas like that for you?

So?  Enjoy the wrappings and decorations.  Let the music lift you.  Bask in family and friends.  But always come back to the gift of the incarnation.  God became man.  Salvation was, and is, offered.  Understand why the angels sang. 
(Matthew 1:21 KJV)  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Let Christmas be like that for you.


Gorges Smythe said...

"My gift of mercy allocation is so small that even I notice it is missing. I am aware of this and try to compensate."

Willful ignorance is one of my greatest peeves; I suspect you're much the same. I guess we just need to remember that old quote, "There, but by the grace of God, go I."

Pumice said...

When I get my most uppity that is one of the quotes God puts in my mind. Maybe I am getting that way today. I will do an attitude check.

Grace and Peace.