“But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33 NRSV
Hurray! Christmas is coming, only seventeen shopping days left. Many folks have their trees up (since Thanksgiving), lights are lit, decorations are up, and Christmas cards are sent. Then, of course, there's the shopping. Review our lists, select the [perfect gifts, and wrap and mail them (hoping they get to their destination by Christmas). Wow, this is exhausting!
Not to get all Ebeneezer Scrooge and "bah humbug," but it's easy to become so distracted by the secular trappings of the holiday that we forget what should come first. Don't get me wrong, gift-giving, decorating, and celebrating are okay. God desires us to share in love and joy, but the purpose of Christmas is to give our thanks for God's gift to us in Jesus and the salvation he brings. It's not about what we give, but what we've received.
Jesus assured us we don't need to worry about "'What will we eat? or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’" (v. 31) or even what we buy for who; those worries are for those who haven't accepted Christ. The priority for us, as his followers, is to seek first the kingdom. It is our priority at all times; all else is secondary.
Father God, thank you for sending your Son into this world so we may be reconciled with you. Help us in the busyness and distractions to remember this most precious of gifts. In the name of Jesus our Savior, we pray. Amen.