Advent Devotion for Wednesday, December 11

By Justin Rossow

Read Mark 10:35-45

I remember spending time around Thanksgiving with the Sears Roebuck catalog (kids, ask your parents). The grandkids would all take pens and circle toys we really, really wanted for Christmas.

I can’t remember ever getting anything I circled, but here’s the thing: I don’t ever remember that mattering one bit.

My grandparents loved us. They gave us gifts that expressed that love. And we loved the gifts they gave.

Maybe my memory was too short: I couldn’t remember what I circled from Thanksgiving to Christmas. But I think something more fundamental was going on.

I do remember the hours spent with Sears Roebuck; it was the closest thing to greed I can remember as a child. My head was filled with images of toys far beyond the means of anyone in my family.

And I wanted them all. I needed them all. I circled them all. I coveted everything in that catalog.

But when Christmas came around, the glossy pictures had faded, and what I knew in a tangible way was that these wonderful grandparents loved me and loved Jesus. That was what I needed most.

In the text today, some of the disciples get distracted by the glossy pictures of a power Messiah, come to do what we think we want, and need, and covet. But Jesus points them away from their greed for power and toward the real gift they need the most: the gift of Jesus Himself.

We pray: Lord Jesus, please don’t give us the things we want; give us the things that draw us closer to You. Amen.