We do not live by bread alone

What things matter to us? When I was a child and a birthday or Christmas approached, I would often long for a very particular, special toy. Since my family was not very well-off, I would often be disappointed when I didn't receive that toy. But years later, none of these toys matter to me. Many of the objects of our yearning work like that – in the long scheme of things, they are unimportant, or soon to become so. That shiny car that is now a rust bucket or that 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 is trying to figure out what's on my wish list. Yet I've come to realize that the most treasured gift that I can receive from my family 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.