No Present Panic! (Pastor Dave) December 16

As of today, there are only  9 more days until Christmas.

That means many people are starting to get trapped in ‘Present Panic’!

Many have not done anywhere near the amount of shopping they planned to, and will try to pull off a couple of ‘marathon sessions’ over the next several days—especially this weekend—in order to purchase everything they wanted to for those on their lists.

If you’ve got something scheduled for this weekend—which I do—it means you have even less time!

At this point, some of you might just put this devotional down and move on, or ‘click close’ on the blog and go shopping today!

Others will stick with it—either because you’re an overachiever and you’re done, or because you know the importance of these ‘devotionals’ in keeping things in perspective.

Why do we get so worked up every year? Each year we end up thinking, ‘Next year will be different; I’ll approach it differently; I’ll focus less on gifts and more on time spent’, or something like that. Yet, here we are again…acting as though we think the gifts are most important part of Christmas.

 

In Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Grinch wants to ‘stop Christmas from coming’ to Whoville, so he steals virtually every present, decoration, food item, etc.

He thinks that, if he can take away the ‘trappings’ of Christmas, there will be no heart for celebrating it, and he’ll have some peace and quiet.

After stealing everything, however, he finds—to his surprise—that “He didn’t stop Christmas from coming; it came! Somehow or other, it came just the same!”

…and then it dawns on him:

“Maybe Christmas…doesn’t come from a store; Maybe Christmas—just perhaps—means a little bit more”.

As the Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 4:4-5, “…when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.”

Jesus came at the Perfect Time. His birth—that we celebrate at Christmas—could not be ‘manufactured’ by men; it was from God.

The good news: That means that our hope, which we celebrate at Christmas, comes not from “packages, boxes or bags”, but Jesus!

Consider and Discuss:

How can we avoid getting trapped in ‘present panic’?

How can we keep our eyes and hearts on Jesus, and not on the ‘presents’ we have to give and hope to get this year?

Activity: If you can, watch Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas

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