Wanting it all at Christmas
by Frank King
As I entered my gym, I saw a red stocking hanging amongst other Christmas decorations. Scribbled on it was this message: Dear Santa: I want it all!
OK, so most of us would never admit to wanting it all. But isn’t that the mantra of our culture? Get, get, get, get. Don’t have the cash? Then put it on credit. Make your Christmas wants clear and make sure your loved ones know it if they don’t come through for you.
I realize this is part of why I and many others struggle with Christmas. We don’t want to be part of this cesspool of expectations and disappointments.
So what do we want? A day that is truly HOLY. A day that transcends the numbing routine of life – not because we try to make it different, but because it IS different.
In Canada, Christmas can be seen as a light in what can feel like a hopeless season for sun-deprived people. In other words, holy.
How is this possible? Let’s consider spirituality. Most of the major faiths articulate what we must do to connect with our creator. Pray more, sacrifice more, worship more, give more, meditate more. How can we know when it’s enough?
Now consider Christianity. It’s about God seeing our broken condition and reaching out to us — coming to earth as a helpless baby, born in an obscure Middle Eastern village.We never have to wonder if we’ve prayed enough, sacrificed enough, worshipped enough, given enough. God did the heavy lifting and that child grew up to change the world through outrageous ideas like loving your enemy, forgiving no matter what and making it clear that eternal life is available to EVERYONE.
So what difference does that make to you and me? When you accept the gift of Jesus Christ — whom Christians believe sacrificed His life to make up for all the wrong things we’ve done and the right things we haven’t done — this is what will happen: You’ll see the people with new eyes as you understand they are loved by God, just as much as you.
You’ll realize that life isn’t about getting rich, buying the biggest flat-screen TV and receiving praise and admiration from others.
You’ll come to understand that this life isn’t all there is — in fact, it’s just the introduction to eternity.
You’ll start to love Christmas because it’s concrete, life-changing evidence of God’s powerful love for His creation.
If you know anyone struggling with Christmas, show them this column. It might open doors for spiritual conversations.
All the views expressed by Frank King are his own and do not reflect on his role as manager of media relations for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association of Canada and Samaritan’s Purse Canada.