1 Peter 3:18 - For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.
Well, it's not yet Thanksgiving and this is the second of our pre-Christmas devotions. Now, I know some of you may think I'm jumping the gun, but I've noticed the department stores have their holy-day displays up, and my mailbox is packed with Christmas catalogues.
Unfortunately, the one Christmas book I have not yet received is from a local Texas company. Of course, I'm referring to the 91st Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. But not to worry, one of my friends has let me borrow his catalogue, and I want to spent some serious time looking at what Neiman Marcus believes is the stuff you and I should want.
Now, to be truthful, I didn't know I wanted most of these things. That's mostly because I didn't know most of these things existed until I saw this catalogue. Now lest you accuse me of speaking ambiguously, I am ready to tell you about some of the gifts which I'm pretty sure you don't have.
Gift number one that I should want: his and hers 12-cylinder Rolls Royce cars. One is grey with a black interior, the other orange with a white interior. I'm pretty sure your family dog can fit in the back seat of either vehicle. Price: $885,375
Gift number two that I should want: an opportunity to explore the gem fields of Zambia with jeweler Stephen Webster. After your trip, which takes in the Victoria Falls, you will go to London to design a piece of jewelry which has a 7.2-carat emerald as the centerpiece. Price: $300,000
Gift number three that I should want: if I was a golfer, which I'm not, I'd want the gift which lets me go to the 2018 Ryder Cup with team Captain Jim Furyk. It is understood that VIP tickets to everything are included. Price: $250,000
Gift number four that we should want: Actually, this last gift is for us. It includes a private New Year's Eve party, 150 hotel rooms for two nights, drinks, dinner, a DJ, and a great view of the ball-drop in Times Square. Price: $1.6 million.
So there, my friends, you have it, some of the things the well-paid buyers at Neiman Marcus think I should want this Christmas. Now, my memory is not what it used to be, so I had to go back to Matthew and Luke to see just how many of these things appear in the Nativity story.
Can you believe it? Not one of these was listed!
We shouldn't be surprised. You see, the Lord didn't take a look at sinful, lost humankind and say, "What would you like from Me?" He had a pretty good idea we would come up with something like a his-and-her four-horse chariots or VIP tickets to Rome's gladiatorial games. No, the Lord didn't concern Himself with what we wanted.
He gave us what we needed. And what we needed most of all was a Savior.
We needed Someone who could do all the things we could not, Someone who could fulfill the Law, carry our sins, resist temptation, and do all this knowing He would die on a Roman cross. We needed God's Son. And for those who have been given this gift, they know He is the best gift of all.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for giving us Your Son, accept our praise. For not giving us what we wanted, please receive our gratitude. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Jim Dobson for Forbes on October 17, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: click here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries