It’s that time of year again. Warmly, reassuringly, comfortingly familiar. With mystery at its heart to make it extra special. We buy the presents. We buy into the pressure to spend, spend, spend. We buy what we think others will like, need, deserve maybe. Packaged, beribboned, sparkly, tantalisingly tempting in their shiny splendour. Such adornments can either mask the meagre offering within or suggest its inestimable worth.
With sweat of furrowed brow, thrust of elbow, throbbing of feet, jangling of nerves, jingling of coins, ringing of tills and emptying of wallets, we make our offering and sacrifice at the altar of Consumerism.
We assign worth and value to the things we purchase:consumables that can so easily consume us, our hearts, energy and time – because we are worth it – and so are the people we buy for: our loved ones, family and friends.
As gift-giving is one of my love languages, it helps me to express how I care for others. Careful selection so often gives way to hastily thrown together parcels as I find myself drained, depleted and dazed in an M.E – blurred and fogged race against the clock to get it all completed before The Day itself.
Each year I vow to change:
To pace myself better
To stop the panic.
To buy less.
To give more to charity.
To cease from being sucked in by consumerism.
To stop. Be still. Reflect on The One who is worthy of my time, limited energy and attention.To make a priority to focus moreon The Gift Himselfrather than the gifts to purchase. How do I make space for Jesus when my days are filled with concern about how much there is to do and how little time I have to try to do it all in? It can be a struggle.
So much of what we celebrate is tainted by worldliness, while we demonstrate how multi-skilled and capable we are at meeting the multiplicity of demands upon our lives – frantically juggling numerous balls in the air (with a fixed smile on our faces) for all we are worth.
So much of our lives is dominated by the need to belong, fit in, be a part of what is current and trendy. The desire to fill our need for self-worth with Things can leave a gaping hole – an empty space of dissatisfaction, disillusionment, discouragement and despair once the lure of the new has waned.
We are worth more than that and we were created for so much more.
Our worthiness lies in recognising our need of change, then taking the first step of faith to being in relationship with God,The One who is worthy of the surrender of our hopes, dreams, expectations and lives into His hands.
The word “worship” literally means “worthiness” or “worth-ship”. Simply put, worship is to ascribe worth to something or someone. Let’s try to remember in the rush and crush of Christmas – The Light of lights, King of kings, Lord of lords, Prince of peace, Word made flesh, Who deserves our every breath, prayer, praise and worship.
“I’m coming back to the heart of worship,
and it’s all about You,
all about You, Jesus.
I’m sorry, Lord,
for the thing I’ve made it,
when it’s all about You,
all about You, Jesus”
The heart of worship is to bow our hearts before God in wonder, adoration and surrender to all that He is and all that He has done for us in Jesus Christ.
Points to ponder:
The challenge before us this Christmas remains: Who or what are we worshipping? What gifts can you offer to God?