Archive for November, 2011

23
Nov
11

it’s the holiday season

I’m not sure if I am highly entertained by the lady in the Target commercials or if I’m completely weirded out by her. Truth be told, I think it’s a little of both! It seems that she is quickly becoming a cultural icon that represents the holiday season for a lot of us who get caught up in, what can be, the overwhelming busyness of the holidays. Parties, family get-togethers, travel, decorating, shopping and musicals, all intended to add to the joy and celebration of the season, can quickly become an evil and burdensome taskmaster that sucks all of the joy and fun out of the holidays for us.

And speaking of weirded out, what about those relatives that we look forward to spending time with. Then after two hours with them we’re trying to plan our escape because they have, in record time, gotten on our very last nerve!

It seems like we humans have an incredibly twisted knack for taking things that God designed and intended to produce pleasure and fulfillment in our lives and finding ways to make them excruciatingly unbearable.

After much introspection, I think I have come up with a solution. Let’s do what we are demanding of our culture. Let’s put Christ back in Christmas! In other words, let’s be Christ-like in all we do. Let’s not give in to the lust of consumerism. Let’s remember it’s more blessed to give than receive. Let’s not try to outdo or one-up anybody in our gift giving. Let’s practice patience when we deal with other people, whether it’s the real life Target lady that cuts in front of us at the mall or obnoxious Uncle Ned who always has to one up us with his stories! Let’s serve those who probably don’t deserve it remembering that we didn’t deserve what Jesus did for us either. Let’s be the body of Christ we have been called to be so that those who don’t know him can be drawn to him.

07
Nov
11

kingdoms

Have you ever noticed how fascinated we are with kingdoms? We witness the fascination whimsically in children’s movies that depict the stories of princes, princesses and evil sorcerers that end with “happily ever after”.

Although I believe that there is a glimpse of the eternal in these stories (Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God…has also set eternity in the human heart”), there is also a reminder of the human condition.

In Matthew 6:10, Jesus instructs us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come. Later, in verse 33 of the same chapter, he tells us to “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Here’s the thing – Ever since Adam and Eve succumbed to the lie of Satan that they could “be like God”, you and I have been busy seeking to build our own kingdoms! I know we don’t want to admit to that – I know I don’t. We prefer to think about those who are building their own kingdoms as the wealthy, the powerful and the influential. However I have come to the realization that I have devoted a large part of my energy to establishing a kingdom of my own. As I already mentioned, I have never owned up to that because I defined “kingdom” in a way that excluded my own example of pride (as we all tend to do). I have come to realize that the kingdom I was trying to establish was one of comfort and familiarity. The thing was, those things never produced any lasting joy or contentment in my life.

Paul reminds us that we have been “qualified…to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:12). I like that! I have been “qualified” by what Jesus did for me, and this Kingdom, “the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17), the very things that my soul craves.