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Presents or Presence in 2022

bokeh photography of book page near yellow ceramic mug

Refocus and be present.

Yes, Christmas has already passed so why bring it up at the beginning of a new year? 

Well, New Year’s is the traditional time to take stock of our lives over the past year and make resolutions to improve in the coming year. So, as the credit card bills come rolling in and our bank account balance is lower than usual, let’s evaluate what allows us to justify our materialistic drives at a time when we should be focused on our Savior’s birth. 

It’s simple.

We live in a consumerist society.

white and blue magnetic card

We have been conditioned to believe that new stuff will make us happy and usually it does… for a very short-lived moment. 

We feel joy as our children or grandchildren rip the paper and shriek with joy over their new toy or outfit. 

Then the dopamine levels drop and the novelty of the item wears off quickly. 

We see the mess and the clutter and if we are honest, we can get pretty upset if there is a lack of gratitude. 

Yet we hit repeat on the cycle year after year. 

The commercials compel us. Our children and grandchildren’s pleading compels us. Keeping up with the Jones’ compels us. 

What if there is a different way to honor our Savior’s birth?

person holding baby feet

What if we actually did focus on Him instead of burying his birth under a tree flowing with presents?

When He came to this earth as a baby, He brought hope and forgiveness and the opportunity for a new birth for us. 

The new year is the perfect time to reflect on the true meaning of our Savior’s birth and if our lives are reflecting the peace and joy that brings. 

No amount of “stuff” can replace the peace that passes understanding in knowing the One who feeds us our Daily Bread that cannot be bought in stores. He is the Living Water that allows us to never thirst again.

There is nothing to be purchased that can fill the void that only our Savior can.

For 2022, consider filling the void with the Fruits of the Spirit, a love of His Word, charity towards others,  and a home that exudes peace and life. 

None of those things require debt and high-interest rates. And, it makes our lives so much easier to manage. 

Isaiah 55

1“Come, all you who are thirsty,

come to the waters;

and you without money,

come, buy, and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without cost!

2 Why spend money on that which is not bread,

and your labor on that which does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,

and your soul will delight in the richest of foods.

3 Incline your ear and come to Me;

listen, so that your soul may live.

I will make with you an everlasting covenant—

My loving devotion promised to David.

4 Behold, I have made him a witness to the nations,

a leader and commander of the peoples.

5 Surely you will summon a nation you do not know,

and nations who do not know you will run to you.

For the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel,

has bestowed glory on you.”

6 Seek the LORD while He may be found;

call on Him while He is near.

7 Let the wicked man forsake his own way

and the unrighteous man his own thoughts;

let him return to the LORD,

that He may have compassion,

and to our God,

for He will freely pardon.

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.

9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so My ways are higher than your ways

and My thoughts than your thoughts.

10 For just as rain and snow fall from heaven

and do not return without watering the earth,

making it bud and sprout,

and providing seed to sow and food to eat,

11 so My word that proceeds from My mouth

will not return to Me empty,

but it will accomplish what I please,

and it will prosper where I send it.

12 You will indeed go out with joy

and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and hills will burst into song before you,

and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thornbush, a cypress will grow,

and instead of the brier, a myrtle will spring up;

they will make a name for the LORD,

an everlasting sign, never to be destroyed.”
man standing in the middle of field

Let’s refocus in 2022 on new beginnings and fresh starts because that is exactly why Jesus came to this earth.  

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17

Happy New Year!

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