We Do Not Live by Bread Alone

When I was a child and a birthday or Christmas approached, I would often long for a very particular, special toy. Not coming from a well-off family, I would often be disappointed when I didn't receive that toy. But years later, I can’t describe any of those toys that led to such holiday disappointment. So how important could they have been? Many of the things that we yearn for work that way – they are unimportant, or soon to become so. The shiny car that is now a rust bucket, or the latest electronic gadget destined for obsolescence in a matter of months (it seems) are simply examples of things that don’t last. Ironically, the words to this song were written just as the Christmas shopping season was starting, when I'm usually panicking because I have no idea what gifts to buy for my family, and my family probably has similar thoughts. Yet I've come to realize that the most treasured gift that I can receive from loved ones is their presence, and not their presents. In this regard, the emphasis of Christianity is remarkably counter-cultural. The culture says “buy the most expensive item you can and if you can’t afford it, go into debt”. The message of Jesus is to look for what is important and what lasts. And often that can be found in relationships, the most lasting one being our connection with our God.