I've decided that during the holiday season we should change the mall's name to "maul." I've never seen such mayhem — kids running, parents screaming, people impatiently standing in long lines — all to the music of "Joy to the World" in the background. Good grief! The irony of it all seemed somewhat humorous. (But not really.)
And if you decide to head to the "maul" the night after Christmas, you'll see more of the same chaos — a rush of returns in exchange for even...more...stuff.
So in honor of those days after Christmas, I've decided to try my hand at rewriting Clement Clarke Moore's Christmas classic. Here she goes. (Ahem.)'Twas the night after Christmas, when all through the house,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the house to see what was the matter.
When, what to my wondering eyes should I see,
But my neighbor, too searching, his trash on the street.
More rapid than eagles he looked, but in vain,
And he shouted his creditors, and called them by name:
"On VISA! On MASTERCARD! On DISCOVER, I'm appalled!
I've thrown cash away! Cash away! Cash away — all!"
He'd splurged once again; he knew it too well,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard in my head,
A gentle reminder from what he had said.
I, too, was as guilty, from my head to my foot,
My conscience was tarnished like ashes and soot;
I focused, this season, on presents and things,
And not on my family, my friends, and my King.
I spoke not a word, but went straight to my work,
Ran into my house (I'd been such a jerk!),
Right up to my wife I came with a hug,
And kissed all my kids, right there on the rug.
"The night after Christmas is better," said I,
"Than never recalling in Christmas is Christ!
The best of all gifts, which to us has been given,
Is Jesus, who died for our sins...and is risen!"
If God is just, why does He permit evil in our world?
That question has plagued humanity as far back as our collective memory takes us. Jesus touched on that deep question with a simple parable in Matthew 13:24–30 and 36–43. While God doesn’t reveal all His mysteries, He does give us a glimpse into His motives and ways.
Pastor Chuck Swindoll examines this parable to help us wrap our heads around that vital question.All Sermons by Chuck Swindoll