Does Christmas Seem Empty to You?

Christmas Empty

It’s different now. Have you noticed?

Many writers better than me have bemoaned the descent of the holidays into a commerce laden period of buying and selling. But I am thinking of something slightly different. How do you feel when you cannot meet the standard set by advertisers for the best Christmas gift? Ads run the spectrum from a Bob Ross Chia Pet to the “Cadillac you’ve always wanted.” What if you still can’t buy that Cadillac? What if you’re so broke you can’t even pay attention? Do the holidays become less important to you? They shouldn’t.

It may be that you feel empty because you do not have, nor can you obtain, enough stuff. It seems the emptiness can only be filled by purchased items.

There is hope because the Bible teaches otherwise. When Peter and John encountered a lame man at the Temple (Acts 3:1 ff), they gave him something greater than silver and gold (Acts 3:6). Money could not buy the happiness that filled him after his healing (vs. 8).

Solomon, endowed with extraordinary wealth and wisdom, tried to find happiness in possessions. His conclusions? He said, “all was vanity and a striving after the wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11). The condition of a man with every possession, but unable to enjoy his wealth, is described as a “grievous evil” (Ecclesiastes 6:2). In summation, Solomon concludes that the whole duty of man is to “fear God and keep his commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Jesus says it better in Matthew 6:33, “seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” The secret of a fulfilled and happy life is found in serving and giving to others. Jesus said, “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).

Try as they might, advertisers cannot supplant Jesus as the giver of a full life. They tell us that happiness comes in a new car, diamonds, video games, and such. They knowingly produce guilt to drive us to purchase more and more stuff; none of which satisfies for long.

Jesus, however, teaches the opposite. Try Jesus’ way and shun the advertiser’s claims. Stop! Listen! What do you hear? The sound of an advertiser’s jingle or the sound of a loving family? The latter, I pray.

#depression #family #happiness #Jesus

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