Monday, December 02, 2013

What do you want?

I am reading through the Bible this year, using Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase, The Message. Sunday’s New Testament reading was from 1 John and included verses 15-17.

Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

When I read this, I smiled at the timing of it. Here we are in the middle of the crazy commercialism of Christmas, where so much is driven by unhealthy desires to get or to gain something. All of that stands in tension with the "reason for the season."

We are simplifying again this year. Less gifts, no debt, and more focus on family time around the table. The stuff of this world is fleeting, but the relationships we strive for, modeled after the one God desires to have with us, will last. It’s also what we will remember as we grow older.

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