I don’t watch the show but this about sums it up. It was really just a matter of time.
I have to admit I have issues with Christmas. Well, maybe that is not accurate. What perplexes me is how the celebration of Christmas in the United States has outgrown every other holiday except perhaps New years. I grew up holding the view of the grandness of Christmas that most everyone else of my generation did. Only after I was granted God’s grace did I, or even could I, really understand what Christmas was about. First I had to understand what it wasn’t. Christmas isn’t about the lights, and the presents, and the snow, and the coming together of our communities. Those are wonderful side effects of the holiday as we have propagated it culturally. Attitudes and acts that we should see daily everyday, holiday or not. But I digress. What have I come to realize about Christmas over the last 5 or so years of my time hear on this earth? I have learned that Christmas is about the Cross, that the birth of Christ was ultimately about his crucifixion. The birth of Christ was and is about you and I. It was about my sin and yours. It was and is about the grace that comes to us via the Cross. Christmas, my friends, is really about Easter. nonsense you say. Give it some thought. The most famous birth ever had to happen so that God could make atonement for all people as he had promised. The purpose of Christ’s birth was his death.
I have realized something these past few weeks. It took a bit to sink in but it really solidified for me the night before last as I listened to my children answer that dreaded question “What do you want for Christmas?”
My oldest is easy. He wants the latest XBOX shootem’ up game so he can play with his buddies. No guess work, no wobbling, no problem at all.
My youngest isn’t quite as easy but he does have it nailed down to a general area. He likes R/C stuff. Any kind of R/C stuff. Planes, cars, helicopters, tanks, he’ll take them all. Oh, and of course he wants an iPad too.
Then we have the middle one. My wonderful daughter who is never at a loss for want. As she rambled off her seemingly endless list of wants I found my mind wandering as it sometimes does when I’ve quit listening to the person that is talking. (Yeah, I do that too. ) As she droned on my mind went off in the direction of my thoughts over the last few weeks.
You see, I’ve reached that point in my life where I really have no wants. Sure there are things that I would like to have but I really do not want for anything. I can sit here and look at the path of my life not as ups and downs but as a series of events that have led me here to where I am now. It’s kind of like an old black and white film. There are bits and pieces missing but the major events that formed me are still intact. I have a family that I would envy were it not mine, friends that I truly cherish, and the undeserved grace of God. I really could not ask for, nor do I want for, anything more.
“More inhumanity has been done by man himself than any other of nature’s causes.” – Samuel von Pufendorf 1673
On days like today when I wake up a bit disgusted with the world I have to remind myself that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. That makes it at least bearable if not understandable.
Signs of the End of the Age
3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.