Romans 5:1 - Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
It's the second of November, and I have to ask your pardon for not reporting on Christmas shopping. The problem is at my age I am no longer part of the demographic targeted by advertisers. That honor is reserved for my children and grandchildren. Between now and December 25, they will have to run a commercial gauntlet prepared by highly paid experts who will tell them what products they need to buy so their lives may have purpose and they will be loved. Years ago,
• a word from the world's sponsors had parents trampling each other to adopt a Cabbage Patch doll, which now sits orphaned on the closet shelf;
• a word from the world's sponsors motivated parents to beg, borrow, and steal the Tickle Me Elmo, who has finally stopped laughing because no one has held him in years;
• a word from the world's sponsors had parents embark on a jihad to obtain Furbee, the fuzzy friend whose batteries now have been pulled to shut him up.
This year as the merchants of the world gear up for the traditional make-or-break Christmas season, I can't guess what the latest word from our sponsor will tell children and adults they need.
The closer it gets to Christmas, the worse it becomes.
Through the use of smooth talk and blatant flattery, the world's sponsors manipulate us. It doesn't make any difference if we know what they're doing. We still buy. We still think somewhere, somehow, their product will make us more popular, more powerful, more influential, more appreciated, applauded, and adored.
Forget keeping up with the Joneses: you have to keep up with yourself.
Now, this is the point where I, the minister, am supposed to launch into a tirade against the commercialism of Christmas. That's what I'm supposed to do, but that's not what I'm going to do.
Instead, I would like to give you a few words from my sponsor, who also happens to be your sponsor.
I would like you to listen to what He has to say. I would like you to listen, my friends, because this Sponsor has Good News of great joy for you. This Sponsor wants to tell you about that which can bring you everlasting happiness and joy. And most amazingly of all, there is not a single false or exaggerated claim, in anything He says. He says,
• "The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).
• "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).
So, my friends, this Christmas our Heavenly Father says we need one thing; we need the Savior.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, as we approach the celebration of the Savior's birth, may nothing worldly usurp Him. May we always realize He is the One thing who is needful. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries