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Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Perfect Gift

Shopping for the perfect gift? Have you found yourself in crowded stores buying gifts with money you don't have for gifts that are here today and gone tomorrow? Our culture has led us to believe that money is love so at Christmas we spend more than any other time during the year.  Retailers receive billions of dollars on this kind of marketing. We buy meaningless gifts that get thrown away, returned or donated to charity. Where does it end?

A view of a few Black Friday shopping videos makes me not want to get out of my house on the Friday after Thanksgiving, a day when we think of all the blessings for which we have to be thankful. People searching for the perfect gift end up victims of pushing, shoving, trampling, fighting, stun guns, pepper spray, arrests and even patients in ambulances. Stores announce super sales--deep discounts. Yet, we still find deep discounts later in the holiday season. What's the sense of it all?

Each year I ask myself how can I avoid the shopping chaos and meaningless gift giving. When I watched the video above, tears filled my eyes. I can't imagine what the heart of God felt in every episode. He sent His only Son into this world to bring love and meaning and purpose to our lives. He sent the perfect gift, the gift of light and peace and hope. But we still look for something else that satisfies. We fail to realize that when God created us, He left a void in us that only He can fill. We can try to fill the void with money, possessions, food, drink, relationships or drugs, but they will not satisfy.

The love of God is all that satisfies. The love of God changes hearts and lives. I know, because it changed my heart and my life. This year, even though my shopping is done, I'm starting to think differently about the future. At first I thought it was too late, but it's never too late. I'm going through a series at church titled Advent Conspiracy. I hope you will go to the website, watch the video and click on some of the resources. Let me know what you think. Is it better to worship fully, spend less, give more and love all? It might mean a different kind of Christmas for your family and friends. Will you stand up to their scrutiny? Jesus did. He didn't get caught up in the culture chaos of His time. I'm thinking I don't want to any more. What about you?

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