Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I did my version of Black Friday shopping. I slept in, had breakfast, took a shower, and then met up with my wife and son who had left the house before 6:30 a.m. I looked rested, fresh, and full of energy. After facing the frantic shoppers all morning they ... well, they didn't look so good.
At one point of the mall madness I was leaving Sears and saw it. Right there in front of me. A "Sears Wish Book." I hadn't seen one in years and it brought back some memories.
The first "Sears Wish Book" was printed in 1933. (I don't remember that — just looked it up.) Over time it diminished in size and was even discontinued at one point. It was revived in 2007, but the one I saw was nothing in size compared to the ones when I was young. Children today don't really need one. They have the Internet and their high tech toys. But "back in the day" the "Sears Wish Book" helped us answer the seasonal question: "If you could have anything for Christmas, for what would you ask?"
Every year my brother and I would look through the catalogue and either dog-ear a page or circle our choices in pen. We didn't want Santa to miss our request. Out of all the pages in the Wish Book we had to ask for the most important things we could find to answer the question.
You may not need the "Sears Wish Book" today, but you have some wishes too, don't you? This Christmas, how would you answer the question, "If you could have one thing in the world, for what would you ask?"
Solomon had to answer that one. He asked for wisdom. And God gave it to him. But by the end of his life he had accumulated more and more: more gold, more horses, more wives. He had it all and wanted more. In the midst of all these gifts he lost sight of the Giver. He turned away from God and lost it all.
Another King gave us another path to follow. He had it all and gave it all ... for us. This season you can guard yourself from the tyranny of too much stuff by giving. Simply give so that others can simply live. That's what the King born as a baby in the manger did.
And my wish? That you visit the manger and find him.
In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness (Philippians 2:5-7 TNIV).