Christmas gifts

Growing up I was ambivalent about Christmas morning. My parents did not shower me with gifts but they did get me a few presents and I knew that a few of these would be things I had specifically asked for. I could barely wait to rip open the packages when the anticipation was finally over.

When all my gifts were opened, I was able to survey my newfound bounty. And then the strange almost melancholy feeling hit “is this it?” “Is there no more for me to open?”  It was almost anticlimactic and frustrating. Every year I imagined that opening my presents would bring me satisfaction but it never did and it never does. My pastor made this point in a recent sermon when he challenged us to remember what we received for Christmas the previous year.  I, along with most, could not.  So as the years have gone by, I hear the innocent question, “what do you want for Christmas?” as somewhat of a cruel tease. What is wrong with me? Am I just lacking the Christmas spirit?

During a recent Monday worship at Biblical. I was reminded again of that famous quote by C.S. Lewis “If I find a desire within me that cannot be satisfied in this world, the most logical explanation is that I was made for a different world”.  I find great comfort in this quote.  I am not abnormal just because I continue to want more and am never satisfied.  We have a longing within us that will never quite be satisfied on this Earth. Of course the uncomfortable implication of this is that we will feel an insatiable hunger and thirst at some level for the remainder of our lives. Sometimes the ache will be acute; other times it will fade but it will never go away.  Oddly, there is a part of me that is growing to value that hunger and thirst. It means there is more.  What a nightmare if this world and this life is all there is.  This is what Christmas really means to me – the beginning of the end of sin, abuse, cancer and death and the beginning of true life as it was meant to be lived, in Christ.  

So what of the gifts I will give and receive in a few days?

Well, as long as I don’t expect them to satisfy my deepest desires, I hope can enjoy them.

At the end of the semester, my students graced me with some Moose Tracks ice cream, my favorite. Along with the creamy treat came the warning, “This will not fill the hole in your soul, but we hope you enjoy it.” Amen.

About the Author

Bryan Maier

Dr. Bryan Maier

Dr. Maier’s prior experience as an associate pastor, combined with his 25 years of diverse counseling experience, gives him a passion for helping others through a distinctly Christian perspective. This goal remains the primary focus of his teaching, writing, and counseling. Bryan maintain a private practice with a local Christian counseling center and is a requested speaker for seminars and professional organizations. Click here to view his faculty profile.

Add comment

Security code

BTS Blog Mission

The purpose of this blog will be to expand the influence of our faculty, maintain contact with our graduates, and invite other friends to think with us about important biblical and theological ideas.

Follow Biblical

Follow us on the following sites and receive notifications on upcoming events and blog entries:

Follow Biblical on facebookFollow Biblical on Twitterg+_64_black

Biblical's Faculty

Biblical’s Faculty:

We are committed to ongoing engagement with culture and the world for the sake of our witness to the Gospel, and to continual learning from Christians in other cultural settings.

Latest Blog Entries

Written on 26 March 2015 - by Susan Disston
Written on 24 March 2015 - by Philip Monroe
Written on 11 March 2015 - by Charles Zimmerman
Written on 27 February 2015 - by Bryan Maier
Written on 25 February 2015 - by Chang Hoon Oh
Written on 20 February 2015 - by Dr. Larry Anderson
Written on 18 February 2015 - by Dr. Susan Baker
Written on 13 February 2015 - by R. Todd Mangum
Written on 12 February 2015 - by Kelly Pfleiger
Written on 10 February 2015 - by Kyuboem Lee

Previous Blog Entries

Contact Admissions

800.235.4021 x146

215.368.5000 x146

215.368.4913 (fax)

Stay Connected with Biblical

Follow us on the following sites:

Follow Biblical on facebookFollow Biblical on TwitterFollow Biblical on YouTubeg+_64_black
Or simply call us at...
800.235.4021 x146 or 215.368.5000 x146

Support Biblical by Giving

800.235.4021 x130

215.368.5000 x130

215.368.7002 (fax)