Christmas shopping – and the Kingdom of God

Jesus spent a lot of his time here talking to people about the Kingdom of God, because with his coming the doors to that Kingdom were being thrown open to everyone. That’s why he told people to “seek” the Kingdom, because from that point on anyone could find the Kingdom if he or she went looking for it (Matthew 6:33).

But is it true though, that people can get a glimpse of God’s world if they go looking for it? What evidence is there to support it? Well, how about our frantic craze for Christmas shopping, because why do millions of us feel this mysterious urge to charge out in the dead of winter every year – and on a Christian holiday of all things – to buy stuff for other people?

I believe it’s all part of our desperate search for the Kingdom of God, because what’s all this frantic shopping for? It’s to help create this little piece of magic that happens every year at Christmas-time, right? There’s no other time of the year quite like it, when suddenly the spirit of giving takes hold of us, and we let it take hold of us, willingly, because we love the atmosphere it creates. It’s s different world at Christmas-time, a glimpse of what life could be like, and we love it. This entire Christmas “thing”, from gift-giving to all the other paraphernalia associated with Christmas, is simply irresistible.

It’s the most amazing phenomenon every year, despite it being such a pain. I don’t think it’s that amazing to Jesus, though, because he knew when he blew open the doors to the Kingdom of God that people would storm through the opening like shoppers at a Mall sale (Matthew 11:12). He knew it would trigger the belief in people all over the world that there was something more to be had in this life, something wonderful that could be sought and found, and we’d go looking for it. And in looking for it we’d find it as it dawned on us that life, real satisfying life, is about giving.

So we created Christmas to capture it and seal it in an obligated tradition so we wouldn’t ever lose it. We’d make giving the spirit of the season and Christmas shopping the engine to keep it alive. Because it’s the one time of year when peace and goodwill are possible and real. It’s only a fleeting glimpse, but in that fleeting glimpse the treasure of the Kingdom of God is worth all the pain of Christmas shopping.