“What do you want for Christmas?” I already have my two front teeth, so my stock reply is, “I don’t know” (shrug). That frustrates the ones asking, but it’s true! I have no pressing needs. Even my wish list is pretty much empty.
Each passing year makes it clearer that the things I really need and want can’t be purchased with money! As our Savior so aptly put it, “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). I want the presence of (not presents from) my family. I want their health and safety, and above all their close walk with God.
I don’t need more belongings, but I definitely need a sense of belonging. God Himself said it isn’t good for us to be alone (Genesis 2:18). Family fills that need for belonging in marvelous ways! For that very reason, Satan relentlessly attacks the nuclear family. As early as Eden he pitted Adam and Eve against each other. Today his agents seek to redefine what a family is. Destruction of the family opens the door to finding that sense of belonging in unwholesome places.
As precious as earthly families are, I also need to belong to God’s spiritual family. The love, fellowship, and support of brothers and sisters in Christ surpass anything money can buy. By myself I won’t survive, but as we mutually strive to serve God our Father and Jesus our Elder Brother, we will enjoy certain victory! Satan throws roadblocks the church’s way just as he does with earthly families, tempting us to find our sense of belonging in worldly organizations or even false religious groups. Let us remain steadfast!
I hope you get just what you want and need for Christmas: not mere belongings, but belonging.
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com