A Pastor tells this story: “Over a recent 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 was 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. I looked it up.) Over time it has 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 books I remember from my youth. Children today don’t really need one. They have the Internet and their high tech toys to cruise the information highway to identify their holiday “wants.” But “back in the day” the Sears Wish Book helped us answer the seasonal question: “If you could have anything for Christmas, what would you ask for?”
Every year my brother and I would look through the catalog and either dog-ear a page or circle our choices in pen. We didn’t want Santa to miss our requests.”
We may not need the Sears Wish Book today, but you have some wishes too, don’t you? Next Christmas how would you answer the question, “If you could have one thing in the world, what would it be?”
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. In the Christmas season, or any season for that matter, you can guard yourself against 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.