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It's just a bag

So spill the beans – what was under the tree this morning? Who got what good stuff? Was it what you wanted? Apparently the most wished for gifts this year were a fire tablet (I don’t really know what that is), a Samsung HD 32 inch telly and a Lego frozen ice castle.

Mary in our video definitely got what she wanted.

Guys it’s just a bag!

Or is it? 

I will confess brothers and sisters before you and before God that I too own a mulberry handbag – not THAT mulberry handbag but a Mulberry handbag nevertheless.It is not absolutely amazing or the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen, it is definitely not a thing of wonder – it’s a bag – I keep my stuff in it. 

So I am not against handbags or flat screen tellies. I am not against gift giving - I love it.
Its just that what we wish for very often tells us who we want to be. 

Now if a bag were just a bag – made of leather, comes with a handle, useful for carrying stuff and if God were just God – begotten not made, comes with a host of angels, useful for creating stuff.  Then I think it would be fine to say “you know this year I just can’t decide: do I want baby Jesus or a handbag? Hmmm –  I think I’d get more use out of the handbag – yup I’ll go for the handbag – how about that really nice red one?  

But a handbag is not just a bag – otherwise Mulberry wouldn’t be spending a fortune trying to persuade you to buy one – you wouldn’t need a new bag – because the old one is would still be working - still fine for putting stuff in.  But it’s not just for putting stuff in – its telling you who you are: it is telling you that you are like it: stylish, fashionable, elegant, valuable, successful, adored – worth it – this handbag tells you that you are worth it.  
But God is not just you know God – not just there to make stars and be almighty and omnipotent – God comes in human form to tell you who you are: you are a child of God, made in God’s image, you are like God:  creative, compassionate, courageous, loving, forgiving, selfless. 

I know that we’d love to be all that AND stylish, elegant and successful BUT we were not made in the image of a mulberry handbag, or a pair of Jimmy Choos, or a Jaguar sports – so choosing them doesn’t help us to know who we are and what we’re for – the stuff we want – whether it’s a [fire tablet] or financial security, a better job, a happier family … none of this stuff tells us who we are – or crucially what we are for. 

We were made to heal the sick, to feed the hungry, to raise up the poor: 
We were made to fight injustice, to bind up the broken hearted and to let the oppressed go free 
We were made to make a better world, to build the kingdom of God. 
We don’t need a handbag or a HD telly to do these things – we need God. 

Of course you all know that a handbag is not really a thing of wonder but do you all know that YOU are a thing of wonder?  
Whatever you got under the tree this morning – it will not change you into a better you, it will not change the world into a better world.

God, however, will.