I’ve got about 8 sets of rachet wrenches that are sitting in the garage. I’ve never gone out and purchased a set of rachet wrenches mind you, they’ve been given to me as Christmas presents. And more interesting to note, they’re all from the same person. They’ve taken over the spot that underwear used to take under the family tree growing up. Gee Mom, underwear, how thoughtful and simultaneously embarrassing with my grandmother sitting right next to me. And what’s that in my stocking? Grape bubble yum? 13 years and running, wow, what a surprise.
I was thinking about that as Christmas approaches and the Tylers are trying to figure out how to give our kids what they want for Christmas without giving them everything they want so we don’t turn them into little ungrateful American jerk teenagers who grow up feeling entitled to pretty much everything because they’re “special’ and because “they can be anything they want to be if they only try hard enough”.
We have some neighbors, The Jones, who have these wonderful kids who are teenagers that seem to have circumvented this process, perhaps I should sit at their feet an learn. But meanwhile, we’ve got Christmas coming.
Not sure if you’ve ever gotten gifts that require you to earnestly look on with a completely false sense of excitement and exclaim things like, wow that’s interesting or man I can sure use that the next time I need to turn the lights on but am trapped in my bed and can only clap. The gifts that either didn’t require much thought or the gifts that the giver actually owns, appreciates and assumes that everyone else would want one too. This is the population that is responsible for the success of the Chia Pet.
As we are giving this year, we’re taking special care to involve our children in the process of giving to others besides ourselves. I just have to believe that them witnessing their parents sacrifice and give to others has to be more impacting than us getting a boat.
We’re going to also teach them this year how to give to Jesus what he wants and not what we want Him. It would be nice if Jesus wanted things like us going to Church and voting for republicans but somehow that doesn’t seem to be on the agenda in His mission. We can wrap that up in a pretty little bow, put a bumper sticker on our car for W, drive to church and think that we’ve accomplished His will for our lives.
I don’t think that WWJD bumper stickers are bad, I just think they’re on the level of rachet wrenches and bubble yum. Nice, but not necessarily what the Lord wants.
What does the Lord require? What is he looking for? What could we give Him for Christmas that he actually wants?
Micah 6:8 (The Message)
8But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,
be compassionate and loyal in your love,
And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.
As we’re gathered around this Christmas, celebrating the reality that God became flesh and dwelt among us, let’s lay ourselves at the foot of the tree. (tree is used often as a picture of the cross) Let’s offer ourselves as the living sacrifice that Paul talks about in Romans 12. Let’s give unto Jesus ourselves, and all that means. Serving the poor, fighting for Justice, and being compassionate.
I don’t know how it’s possible that the Lord can possibly any more blessed than he already is, but I know that this will bless Him.