It is Cyber-Monday! By now you are likely well acquainted with what that means. Millions of people are shopping like crazy online for the best deals on Christmas gifts. Today is the day to get the best deal of the year (supposedly) on TVs, tablets, phones, etc. We just know that somewhere out there is the perfect gift for Aunt Peggy, and we want to get it for 50 cents on the dollar. So we will frantically surf and troll the internet believing that in the land of “Cyber” we can get just what we need to check off our shopping list and complete our obligation of buying for others. Over $2.5 billion dollars will be spent today on swag to give away on the 25th, proving again that nothing says “I love you” like a discounted gift!
Today we are hunters. Looking for something. Looking for anything that will help us wrap up our holiday shopping as quickly as possible. Get it done and get it over with by December 1st so we can focus on the food, decorations, and traveling of Christmas 2014. The quicker and cheaper we can get it done, the happier we (think) will be. Cyber-Monday will grow into cyber season as we continually look for that perfect gift, that perfect holiday memory, that perfect holiday picture, that perfect holiday experience that we have been seeking all of our lives. The one that will make right the holidays that disappointed us in the past. It’s out there somewhere. We are willing to search the world over to find it and are likely to pay any price to grasp it. But the Christmas season is likely to come and go without many of us finding what we are really searching for.
The idea of a cyber-Monday may be the most ironic event of the Christmas shopping extravaganza because, if Christmas says anything to us at all, it says that we don’t need to hunt. Spending 40 days on a journey to complete a gift list is not our purpose in life. Great deals, “on time” shipping, and no hassle shopping is not the reason for the season. Stay with me; I am not talking about shopping or jolly celebrations any longer.
Christmas at its core is a reminder that God has come in Christ to rescue and redeem the world. The distance from heaven to earth has been bridged in the incarnation. Christ has come and time, space, and purpose have been reset for all mankind. Our need to search and search for meaning has been solved in the Messiah. Prophecy from ages past has been fulfilled and then placed in us to preserve through the ages. God is not “out there somewhere” waiting for us to find Him. He is here; and He is close; and He is real.
God coming to us changes everything. Our recognition of His closeness confronts any addiction to shopping for Him in cyberspace. We couldn’t find Him out there even if we were bent on trying. We don’t pin God down or prove His place in our world. He does that on His own. We are free to enjoy Him forever. No need to conjure up a new tradition or a new take on Christmas. No need to protect Christmas from secular attacks. Just soak in the season and be renewed for living in faith, hope and love. Give up on searching for God and let Him find you (You might be surprised to hear that He already has!).
God is not something we find or something that we purchase. He is something that we receive freely and fully. He is something that becomes our everything. He is the Savior of the lost, Sanctifier of the sinful, Sustainer of the weak. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is Jesus in a manger, and He is Jesus on the cross. He is the Spirit blowing over chaos in Genesis, and He is the bright and morning star of Revelation. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And He is Christmas!
Don’t bargain for a Christmas that is less than what God is offering. Reflect on the life God offers us in Christ. Be content in His mercy and grace for your life and situation. Make justice and joy your favorite words. Make peace your best buy for others. Make hope your recipe for something sweet. Let love live in you and through you for others.