"For from within, out of the heart of men,proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."“‘Tis the Season!” And in all honesty I must confess that I’m a sucker for this time of year. I love the sights and smells and traditions. I like to hear the carols and watch It’s a Wonderful Life and The Muppet’s Christmas Carol at least once during December. I can’t help myself. I really do just love it.
And yet, despite all the talk of “peace on earth and good will toward men, ” I am forced to admit that Christmas, like everything else, brings out the best and the worst in people. We are, after all, such depraved creatures, you and I (Rm 3:10f). When push comes to shove, we shove back and find a way to turn even the greatest of all God’s gifts into a reason to display the selfishness of man.
We, sadly, saw a terrible example of this last week when 34 year old Jdimytai Damour was trampled to death in a Long Island, New York Wal-mart as Black Friday shoppers pushed and shoved their way past his broken body in their rush to claim their Christmas deals. And so the birth of the One given as the result of the greatest of all loves, became an excuse to kill a man in the selfish desire of a crowd to satisfy it’s lust for things.
Certainly I know this is an extreme case, but doesn’t it reveal something about the true nature of the human heart. Jesus said that it is from within, out of the heart that such evil flows (see Mark 7:21-23 above). That is the true condition of every man and woman apart from the grace of God. That is the root of our problem. Not what other people do, but what I myself am capable of doing and will do in my selfish rush to satisfy me! That, my friends, is why we need a Savior, and why I celebrate God’s gracious gift of Christ for a sinner like me!
To Him Be the Glory Forever!