Wednesday, 9 December 2015
'Wants not Needs'
One of today's Advent readings is Matthew 11:28-30 which got me thinking.......
It is safe to say that in today's consumerist and materialistic society there is confusion about what is needed for life and what is actually important.
In this run up to Christmas the vast majority of the shops are selling wants and not needs.
What society now calls 'needs' were formerly 'wants' and these have moved to such a level of sophistication that now luxuries are "necessities" for many people in the western world.
The upwardly mobile in society cannot it seems, feel 'good' about themselves unless the holiday next year is to be more expensive and luxurious than the one taken this year, or unless the clothes in the wardrobe are regularly upgraded for the latest fashion, or unless the house is regularly redecorated or remodelled, and the latest technology bought as soon as it comes on the market regardless of coast.
People become trapped and un-free; as if running on a perpetual hamster's wheel,
Inherently unsatisfied and unfulfilled.
Meanwhile very little thought is given to the fact that most of God's people on this earth are homeless and starving.
God's people have learnt to find happiness and freedom at a much simpler level.
What Matthew's gospel is saying is that such simplicity is the only place that happiness is ever found in the first place.
The twenty first century materialistic society has made happiness and contentment largely impossible and has created a pseudo- happiness based on having instead of just being. A society so overstimulated that the ordinary no longer delights and people are so busy in their busy-ness that they cannot rest or abide in the presence of God, nor do they want to.
I realise that such a message is about as traditional, old fashioned and conservative a gospel message as can be shared but it will always be true. One that every generation needs to hear and believe anew.
Particularly in this time and this culture of excess,
Society has become one of human doings more than human beings and the verb 'to rest' as Jesus uses it in this passage is largely foreign to most people. The very word 'rest' conjours up the images of idleness and just 'doing nothing'.
Rest is not valued in this world of wants and must haves.
They don't know what they are missing