In 2005, the most sought after Christmas gift was the “Xbox 360”. Did you neeeeeed it? Do you still have yours? Do you use it
In 2007, it was the “iPod Touch”. Did you neeeeeed one? Do you know where it is today?
In 2009 we just had to have the “Nook eReader”. The what? Oh, but we neeeeeeded it!
In 2011 your toddler simply neeeeeeded “Let’s Rock Elmo”! Has he rocked on?
The hottest Christmas gift this year is a “Drone”. Do you neeeeeed one? I read that one million drones are expected to be sold this Christmas! I’m sorry kids, that is not in a box under my tree.
I confess there was one year I snatched the last TMNT Leonardo off the shelf in front of a woman who was taking too long making up her mind between him and Michelangelo. Her son was probably not happy on Christmas morning. But, my son neeeeeeded Leonardo!
What is it that makes us think we so desperately need something that is so desperately unnecessary? Seriously, how many miles did you log searching for Cabbage Patch Kids, Carebears, Gameboys, and PowerRangers? And how many hours are you spending searching on-line for the things that are neeeeeded today?
What do we really need? We don’t know! Because we don’t know what we need, we don’t know what to ask for. Since we don’t know what to ask for, we ask for what everyone else is asking for. After all, if everyone else needs it, it must be what we need.
But what if it isn’t. What if the hot new thing isn’t capable of settling the restlessness that gnaws at our spirits? What if the ache for something is so deeply embedded in our souls that it penetrates the very core of our being? How can anything that we might simply purchase at a store or a website satisfy that need?
There are needs we can identify: the need for inner peace, a clean conscience, the removal of guilt and shame, the need for justice and vengeance, and for acceptance and hope. What can satisfy those needs? We know that we can’t, or we would. Instead we grapple with anger and frustration, depression and oppression and a sense of something lacking.
If we want to identify what it is that will meet our need, we first need to identify our need. Unfortunately, if most of us were asked, “What do you need?” our response is typically, “Nothing, I’m fine.”
But are we? Well, we may not be rich, but we have all we think we need — a roof over our heads and food on the table. We aren’t the worst person around, we’re OK, there’s a lot of people who are a lot more wicked than we are. We have clothes on our backs and we understand the ways of the world.
And yet, there’s that need for something that keeps pricking us.
Could it be that what we need is to know the Truth. Not our perspective, but a real, defined, absolute truth that never changes? What would that Truth say about us?
“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” – Revelation 3:17 NIV
Could it be that what we need is for Someone outside of ourselves to stoop down into this messed up world that we live in and lift us up to something better.
“Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.” –Psalm 113:5-7 NIV
Could it be that what we need is to recognize and admit that we are sinners in need of reconciliation to a holy God.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17-18a NIV
Could it be that we need an inner peace that cannot be shaken. A peace that doesn’t depend on the world’s situation or our personal circumstances. A peace that settles the restlessness in our hearts and enables us to face each day with confidence.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27 NIV
Dr. Seuss had it partially right, “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
What we really neeeeeed is to know Christ Jesus the Lord in a personal and intimate relationship.
It doesn’t matter how many presents are under your tree, nothing will satisfy your needs except Christ Jesus the Lord. Will you seek him this Christmas? Will you receive the gift of salvation that God is offering you?
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
Merry Christmas, and may God bless us, everyone!