Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. (1 John 2:7-8 NIV)
Richness and luxury. Silver and gold, as Yukon Cornelius said. And what will next year's hot colours be?
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[ is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17 NIV)
I'm thinking of the DHM's daughter, who hasn't left the hospital since her baby was born, two days before American Thanksgiving. I'm thinking that silver, gold, orange or puce, the colour of the decorations is pretty low priority for her this year.
I'm thinking of another family, waiting to hear the final decision on a foster grandchild's permanent placement, and waiting to bring their own adopted child home.
Of someone at our church who just lost a parent. Another family whose income has dried up. And of other friends who are facing illness with courage, changes with faith.
In the face of all this, how dare we trivialize "what it's all about?" The "true light shining" is more beautiful than any bowlful of gold balls or any silver tree that we could put up.
As someone said in the comments to last week's Advent post, Advent is not a countdown; it's a preparation. When you prepare to get married, you expect it to last at least longer than the wedding day (and I do not mean to be flippant about that--I know that lasting marriages do not always happen) . When we prepare our hearts to receive the gift of God's Son, we look forward to something that will last forever.
As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—eternal life. (1 John 2:24-25 NIV)