For God so loved….
– John 3:16
Holidays are a set up for disappointment.
My mother used to say the only thing holidays were good for was to set people up for hurt and disappointment. It seems cynical, but unfortunately, it’s often true. The world’s expectations for these contrived celebrations definitely set us up for a letdown. Life just isn’t as magical as we would like it to be, although marketers want us to think that if we spend enough time, effort, and money, we can achieve it.
Commercialism sets a high bar: If we don’t buy the perfect gift to create a magical moment, or if we aren’t the perfect spouse, child, or parent on those special days, we are losers. So we spend the money, buy the stuff, and swallow down the sour taste the emptiness leaves in our mouths.
It’s never enough. Things can’t make us feel loved.
I will be the first to claim Loserhood. I am nothing without God. He doesn’t see me as a loser, thankfully. He sees me as a sinner; His beloved lost creation; a dear child needing a Father.
Jesus Christ came to give us the perfect gift: Himself. For a tired, hurting old world, He offers an eternal and supernatural love. In Him is the sweet taste of life. In Him, we can enjoy an existence that looks heavenward.
This world offers the rose but pierces the hand reaching for it. God offers a love that is pure, beautiful, and tender. If we trust in Him, we will never be disappointed.
One day of each year we honor the idea of love. Every hour of every day of the year, God demonstrates to us His exquisite love through His Word, His people, His creation, and His Spirit. Eternity won’t be long enough to tell Him thanks and give Him our hearts.
He is the rose without thorns.