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Mother Teresa said, “If it takes you more than fifteen minutes to pack, you have too much stuff.” To most Americans this would sound rather ridiculous, but it is a sobering reminder that we are usually guilty of accumulating far more than we need.
As we head into the season in which we busy ourselves with shopping and buying gifts for loved ones, we find that, more often than not, our gifts probably fall under the category of “wants” and not “needs.”
I’m not trying to be a Scrooge; there’s nothing wrong with giving gifts, and there’s nothing wrong with receiving gifts. But we should temper our gift giving and receiving with what is more important.
Jesus taught us: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matt. 6:19-20 NIV)
A few verses later Jesus warns against being overly concerned (worrying) about worldly things and says: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt. 6:33)
The Christmas season celebrates the ushering in of God kingdom into our own. As you buy your gifts for others, keep in mind the greatest gift that has already been given. Upon receiving gifts from others, don’t overlook the greatest gift that can ever be received. In the hustle and bustle of Christmas, don’t fall into the trap of making the Christ child an addition or add-on to all your festivities…He IS the celebration!
Wishing you all a glorious Celebration,
Bob, Tricia and Liz