“ The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. On those walking in darkness, light has dawned.”-Isaiah 9:2
According to recent studies, American citizens were expected to spend on average of almost 950 dollars on Christmas gifts a year, up from 885 dollars last year. Of the total amount of people surveyed, 30 percent said they would spend over 1,000 dollars. The total amount of money spent nation wide will be over 1 trillion dollars! Public Schools would love to have their hands on that kind of budget! In spite of this kind of spending, what dollar amount can convince a person that Christmas is ok, even though their marriage is in shambles. What present can calm a soul long term when they don’t know were money is going to come from next week because they are unemployed? Carols may sound nice this time of year, but what music can convince the down and out that hope remains? I would suggest that it is the down and out, not the money spenders who get what Christmas, and Isaiah is all about. The prophet saw it coming that the light that gives life, does not come from us. The ones who are hurting this Christmas get Isaiah’s truth, that no longer can my money, my singing, etc give me life. Life comes from elsewhere. The question is, from where? Advent reminds us that happiness is not only in our memories of celebrating the birth of Christ with our families (that we long for again!) but also in the future. Will I be ok? Are my children going to make it? Jeremiah’s prophecy reminded the Jews of that time, and us today, that one way or another, all will be well. Not because of our money, but because of something more: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.”- Jeremiah 33:14-16 . Need answers this Advent? They are coming, and only from one provider.
John Thomas is a Pastor at Carroll Springs UMC