The other night I caught Andy Rooney’s segment on “60 Minutes.” He talked about all the things that he saves. He has boxes and boxes of letters and mementos he has amassed over the years, things he just can’t let go of.
I got to thinking about all the “things” we have had in our life. Now and then we simply have to go through all the possessions we have and toss out those items we no longer value and that are simply taking up space. There are times when we must take the same approach to our spiritual and mental state.
Paul’s message to the Philippians puts our material possessions and some of our attitudes into perspective. What is the comment on what is valuable or profitable? How does our relationship to Jesus compare with everything else in our lives?
Paul recognized how very important the gift of Jesus was. He saw that all things in his life, even those things that might bring the benefit of physical comfort or enjoyment, are not as important as knowing Jesus. He considered “everything” a loss and “rubbish” compared to the salvation gained through Christ.
Over the years it seems the Christmas holiday has become less and less about Jesus and God’s gift to humanity and more and more about the material possessions we can get. Our focus can sometimes stray from the spiritual blessings of God’s love. Our attitude can slip into one of greed and consumerism.
As we enter into the Christmas season, as we go through the tradition of exchanging costly presents with one another, we must see that our gifts at Christmas are but a poor reflection of the greatest gift that has ever been given, the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. All of the bright paper and bows that adorn our presents, all the money spent, all the material possessions that fill our homes at the holidays are as nothing compared to the greatness of the love that God expressed to us through the baby born so long ago.
Before we allow ourselves to be caught up in the drive to spend more and more money, to give bigger and better gifts, let us be certain our attitude at the holidays is put in the correct perspective. Let us realize what the most important part of Christmas really is.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How can you keep Jesus at the center of Christmas?