Join the One — That’s our call this Christmas season. Join the One. For the next 25 days–every day–I’m going to share a thought, a scripture, and a call. It will be a call to join Christ, in a soul-satisfying experience of Christmas. I invite you to check back daily and join me.
Let me start with a question. Have you ever experienced buyer’s remorse? Something catches your attention, some object, some piece of clothing with just the right tags, or the newest technical gadget. You read up on it, go look at it, ask Santa for it, or go into debt to buy it, because you are certain life will be great, if you acquire this particular piece of stuff. You bring it home and you use it. You show it off to your friends and you bask in the glow of the satisfaction you received from your purchase.
But soon you have a gnawing sense of dissatisfaction in your spirit and you think oh why did I go and do that, this isn’t bringing the pay-off that I thought it would. You look for the receipt, wondering you can bring it back, perhaps trade it in, give it to someone else, so you can have a consumer’s do-over. Buy one, get one free. That’s buyer’s remorse.
So here’s the Christmas question; “Have you ever experienced Christmas remorse?
Fast forward to the days immediately following Christmas. You’re visiting in the lobby at church or talking in the halls at work, or chatting with your friend during halftime of a bowl game and invariably someone asks the question, “So how was your Christmas? If it’s a casual conversation with someone you barely know, you will probably respond with, “Great how was yours?” If it’s a real conversation with someone you know well, you might find give a shrug of your shoulders and find yourself saying,
“Well you know, it was good…but…it was really busy. I don’t know. I wanted… I wanted this Christmas to be one where I/my family could slow down and ponder the wonder of Christmas. I wanted it to be a Christmas where I was more spiritually connected than I’ve ever been. I wanted to spend time, quality time with friends and family. I wanted my gift giving to be more than just a quick stop at the mall on Christmas Eve day. I wanted to take time and put some thought into it. In fact I wanted to make a difference, isn’t that what Christmas is all about? I wanted this to be the best Christmas ever.
But I think I missed it. Everything seemed rushed. After attending twelve different Christmas events and buying twelve gifts for cousins I don’t even know; after twelve hours of planning and preparing a meal that was eaten in twelve seconds, I don’t think I spent twelve minutes doing what I had hoped to do. The worst part of it all, I think I feel farther from God than I did at Thanksgiving, before this all started.”
And then like faithful Pittsburgh Pirates fans, we’ll say, “Wait till next year. Next year we’re not going to miss it.” But you know people have been missing Christmas for over 2000 years.
So here is my day one challenge. Read Luke 2:18-20 and think about what needs to happen in the next 25 days so that those verses will describe your response the day after Christmas. In other words, what is your Christmas Bucket List?