Monday, November 30, 2015

Finding Christmas: Something Better than "Stuff"


I stayed home on Black Friday. I've attended the After-Thanksgiving sales with my sister and my mother before, and, for the most part, I didn't like it. The crowds. The rush. The pushing. It's not for me.

I'm not sure it should be for anyone. BlackFridayDeathCount.com has begun tabulating the death and destruction that results on that day. Since 2006, there have been 7 deaths and 98 injuries. Over stuff. People dying for a bargain. What about that makes sense?

In recent years, I've questioned the rush to purchase gifts for each other. It's Jesus' birthday. Why do we buy gifts for each other? That makes no sense to me. Don't get me wrong. I haven't given up gift-giving entirely, but I've made changes in my holiday routine. The emphasis is less on stuff and more on our Savior.

If our focus is supposed to be on Jesus, why do we spend so much time and money on ourselves?

All this shopping results in one thing. More stuff. 

This morning, I read a passage in Isaiah 33:14-24 that I first studied in December of 2003. It's as pertinent now as it was then. It asks the question, "Who among us can live with the consuming fire (of God)?" 

The answer is clear and simple. Only the one who actively pursues righteousness. He walks righteously, speaks with sincerity, rejects unjust gain, shakes his hands so they hold no bribe, stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed, shuts his eyes from looking upon evil.

The man (or woman) who actively seeks righteousness will find something much better than more stuff.  

Protection
Provision
See the King
No fear
No want
Health
Forgiveness

If Christmas is about honoring the birth of our Savior, then the best gift we can offer Him is that of striving for holiness. 

Holiness (or righteousness) is what God most desires from us, but what will benefit us the most, as well. During this Advent season, let's do more than seek after stuff. Let's seek after righteousness and pursue it with all our hearts. When we do, we will find Christmas in an entirely new way.

"Your eyes will see the King in His beauty..." 

In our seeking, we will find our King and see His hand all around us. So let's look for the Savior at every turn and let His righteousness guide every decision (including every purchase) we make this season.

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In case you missed any of the past week's posts, here are the links:  Red Hot Christmas Pickles and the Broken JarGrateful Heart: The Beginning of StoriesGrateful Heart: Blessing of PositionGrateful Heart: Wonder PickleGrateful Heart: FamilyBeginning the Advent Journey, and Finding Christmas: The Best Advent of All.

The most read post of the last week: Grateful Heart: Family.

If you're looking for an Advent devotional, you can find The Road to Bethlehem on Amazon here.
photo courtesy of freeimages.com

#Advent, #JesusChrist #disciple #righteousness