Christmas starts the day after Thanksgiving and doesn't end until the week after Christmas! Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving is the retailer's bonanza when everyone who lives from check to check, sets out to spends more money than they made the previous week. Clever marketers begin to flash irresistible deals across our media-driven culture pushing gadgets that we just can't do without. I bought an instant pot! My wife insisted we leave the receipts in the packages we gave this year suggesting that the recipients would likely return the gifts. It will be a good excuse to take advantage of all the good deals the day after Christmas when prices are slashed even more. Sometimes I wish the Three Wise Men had not come to the manger bearing gifts. When the gifting frenzy is over you are generally left with two shirts and a sweater you will never wear. If you are lucky you will not be invited to more than one holiday party you wish you didn't have to go to. At my house, we overdose on the Hallmark channel during the holidays. It’s a nice change from all the blood, guts and sex found on primetime TV. My wife thinks I am too sensitive when I complain that in every Christmas movie on Hallmark someone seems to own a Christmas tree farm, no mention of Jesus. After the lights are taken down and the artificial tree is stored away and the over-whelming letdown passes into a mild depression, we wonder if it was all worth the effort.
Be of good cheer, there is an antidote for this condition. Christmas is a time to reflect on the perfect gift from God when Jesus the Savior was born. “If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.”(Phil.4:7) Are you taking the time to teach your children the true meaning of Christmas? Here is the challenge, take 30 minutes to read the Christmas story from the second chapter of Matthew to your children. Immediately, two things will happen: you will feel the peace of God come over you and you will have planted the seed of salvation in the hearts of your children. “And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.”(Isa. 32:17)
Today's world is not very peaceful, as a matter of fact, it is plain disorderly. We spend half our day working so we can buy things we don’t need and will not satisfy our desire. We spend the rest of the day trying to fill the emptiness in our hearts. Why not take God at his word “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”(John 14:27) For more about finding peace in a troubled world read “Beam me up Commander” its free!