A couple of nights ago, I was curled up next to the gas fireplace, warming my feet, from the perceived cold 68 degrees in my home. Outside the wind was buffeting the house with snow and wind chill temperatures in the low teens.
My wife and I were watching one of our favorite shows “House Hunters”. At some point I remember her saying,
“Our cars have better shelter than many people.”
I’m not sure where that thought came from, but it hasn’t left my bloomin mind since.
Last night the above car commercial came on and I couldn’t help, but think not only what my wife said, but that the cars we have are better shelters than many people have, and that the technology, found in them, is more technology than many people will ever experience.
When you think….if you think….. of how so many live in other parts of our world……
Mud huts, that no light enters…… except through the always opened door…… yet our cars have windows in the roof so we can see the sky……
Many nights spent about a small fire or just huddling together, desperately trying to stay warm, and our cars have heat warmers in the seats, making our “butts hot”……
They walk we ride in luxury…..
Oh the list of the amenities we enjoy in our cozy, comfy, part of the world, is staggering in comparison to that of the downtrodden throngs that share our world.
My wife went on a bus trip to New York City a week ago, and an observation she made to me in a text was….,
“so many people, so crowded, so much greed”
Today I read this,
The Sin of Partiality
2 My brothers,[a] show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called
English Standard Version (ESV)
We are…. cursed …..with so much! You mean Blessed? No cursed! What do we, in our slick cars and gas fireplace warmed homes, have need of Christmas? Oh there is much we want, that is…..we covet! (covet… one of the big 10), but rarely, if ever, in our lush tranquil lives, have need! Not in any way, shape or form, like the 3rd world man!
After reading that scripture of warning, I have found no peace this Christmas season. I have so much and yes I am grateful, but I have never known want. Of anything! Ever! I live, we live like no men in history before us. We have prospered to the point of cursing ourselves!
Unfortunately we all have need this Christmas??? We may not want it, but we desperately need The kingdom of God! If I read that scripture right, God chose the poor to be rich in faith and to be heirs of His kingdom!
I am by no means poor and if you are reading this neither are you,…. SO where does this leave us?
24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
That leaves us precariously positioned, on a precipice. Doesn’t it? Jesus is saying that because of the blessing of our wealth we do not perceive the need for anything outside of ourselves.
Wealth is a great blessing, but leads to the great deception that we don’t have need. The danger always persists for the rich to trust in our materialistic splendor and miss our spiritual depravity. But God’s kingdom is given to the poor, for he gave them great faith. You see when you live in the harshness of a cruel world, faith in God becomes palpable, not just lip service. You depend on the Almighty! You more readily see the wickedness of man, when you struggle against it daily. You recognize it in yourself and you know you can’t overcome this world unless God does it.
Our blessings are our curse. We should fall on our knees before the king, with utter gratefulness, giving the only gift we can to the babe, in the manger, our lives, to be used by Him! Not only for the magnificence of the world we are blessed to live in, but in astonishment for the great love He revealed to us, in His gift of true life to us, born into the world on that first Christmas and resurrected on Easter! Are we counted in those who love Him?
The struggle is to look beyond the blessings, and to see the true need in our souls! The need to be rescued from ourselves is drowned out by the call of more want, more extravagance.
A thought to ponder, This Christmas: How have the blessings you have in your life, either clouded or cleared your understanding for the need in your life for the baby in the manger.
That need fulfilled, you will Need For Nothing More!