Looking for the wrong thing:
Sunday launched us into the season of Advent. This season is all about anticipation. Advent means arrival, and the advent season ushers in the beginning of the celebration of the anticipation of Christmas, which is really the anticipation of Christ. And yet, so many people either lack any anticipation this time of year, or their anticipation is wrapped up in everything but the right thing.
As we launched our series “Socks and Underwear,” we wrestled a bit with just what people are anticipating at Christmas. Often our anticipation for the holidays is high, and yet our anticipation for the advent of Christ, the greatest gift ever given and the entire point behind our Christmas celebrations, is lacking. We treat Christ a lot like we treat that yearly gift of socks and underwear from our mom- as needed but not wanted.
And in a lot of ways, this is true. Sure, you may get excited about the new gadget or electronic doohickey. Your heart may race a bit when you receive that sweater you just had to have or that thing you really wanted but it was just too expensive to buy for yourself. But all of those gifts will be forgotten and lose their luster fairly quickly. But socks and underwear will be part of your day after Christmas. And the day after that. They will keep you warm, cover your…umm…backside, and will continue to be something you need daily, even on days you take it for granted. But this leads to my point for today:
We’re all looking for the wrong thing.
We’re looking for a feeling. We’re looking for excitement and drama. We’re looking for a high. We’re looking for the wrong thing. God isn’t looking to give us one really great moment or shock or surprise. He’s looking to change our lives. That’s one of the greatest concepts of the gospel. 36 times in the gospel of John, Jesus is referred to as “The Life”. John 14 tells us Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life- and that no one comes to the Father except through Him. Jesus IS life. Not only that, look at John 10:
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me… (John 10:28 NLT)
Life is Christ’s gift! It’s why He came. He came to give us life and life to the full. He came to take out our hearts of stone and give us a heart of flesh. He came to help us die to ourselves and experience new life in Him. And Paul tells us if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation- the old is gone, behold a new life has begun. This is what Christmas is all about.
And we tend to miss the gift of life, because life is a daily gift. It’s every day in every thing. And we miss the daily blessing of the life Christ has made possible, because we’re looking for something new and shiny.
We miss the life Christ offers because we’re too busy looking for moments.
We’re looking for the wrong thing. I know I was. Perhaps you are too. Let me encourage you this Christmas. Stop looking for moments, and start looking to the life giver. Stop looking for something shiny and start looking for something real. Stop looking for Christmas and start looking for Christ.