364 days until the next Christmas.
My grandkids have already told me what they want. I have already told my wife what I want. I could have made a mistake writing about James 5 after a day of gifts, broken toys, and major food comas.
You have lived for pleasure on the earth and lived luxuriously; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. James 5:5 (NASB)
James does not introduce himself at the beginning of his book with, “James, a Scrooge, who doesn’t like Christmas.” But as, “James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (James 1:1)
The bondservant James, who is also the Lord’s brother, likes the idea of giving gifts:
Every good thing given, and every perfect gift, is from above coming down from the Father of lights. James 1:17 (NASB)
For most of us, on the day after Christmas, the following is more relevant:
Your riches have rotted, and your garments have become moth-eaten. James 5:2 (NASB)
Presents ripped open, wrappings three feet deep around the tree, some toys lost or broken before the end of Christmas day. Can you remember what you received for Christmas last year? How much debt to pay off after Christmas this year? Did you read the Christmas story in Luke 2 with your family, or just start ripping packages apart?
Fun and gluttony at Christmas.
Your gold and your silver have corroded, and their corrosion will serve as a testimony against you and will consume your flesh like fire. James 5:3 (NASB)
My wife works hours setting the perfect Christmas table; she plans the entire year buying and wrapping presents for grandkids. One Christmas tree up this year; some years she has two. Christmas lights, candles, and cookies. The list seems endless.
I offer encouragement as I watch TV and learn from James:
Weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you! James 5:5:1 (NASB)
On Christmas Eve, after services at Fellowship, my wife and I have a tradition. We exchange gifts. In the early years, I had all kinds of ideas about gifts for my wife. The past few years, creative ideas have been harder, as we both agree that we have everything that we need.
This Christmas Eve, our time together is just that, not really about gifts, but about time together. There is an edge to Christmas Eve, a tinge of sadness as to how many Christmas Eves do my wife and I have left?
Time passes; James offers hope:
Be patient, enjoy your life, have fun during Christmas, and understand that the coming of the Lord is near. James 1:8 (OGV)
I do have a Christmas gift for Barbara this year. She sent me an idea last week. I sent her my idea too. For those considering my birthday on January 30 – I love Untuckit Shirts and M&M’s.
Other Interruptions on the Book of James are numbered
200, 206, 213, 219, 224 and 230.
Take a look at www.grantedwardsauthor.com.