Christmas is tomorrow and as a kid I would be one day away from opening the last door on my countdown to Christmas calendar.
Every year along with our Christmas decorations my mom would pull that calendar out of the box and hang it on our refrigerator. Every morning the first thing my sister and I did was go to the refrigerator and open the next door on the calendar, which marked one less day until Christmas.
I think my sister and I thought opening the door on that calendar made Christmas come faster, but thinking about it now, I actually think it made Christmas come slower. As we opened each door on the calendar, we were reminded Christmas wasn’t here yet.
You see, my sister and I, we couldn’t wait for Christmas to get here. We couldn’t wait to see what presents we were going to get from my mom and dad. For weeks that’s all we would talk about. What we thought we would get. Our speculation and excitement grew when presents started showing up under the tree. Was that big box a Nintendo — hey, it was the 80’s — or was it a new baseball glove, maybe a football? All the while we were hoping it wasn’t clothes — What kid wants clothes for Christmas? I know I didn’t. I wanted something cool. A toy or game. Something I could play with. My sister and I would go on for days like that — wondering, hoping, waiting to see what we would get.
While all the days leading up to Christmas were tough, nothing compared to Christmas Eve. You know what I am talking about. With Christmas just hours away, we could hardly contain our excitement. You see, for kids, and maybe some adults, the time leading up to Christmas is almost an unbearable wait.
Here is the question:
Can Stuff Ultimately Satisfy Us this Christmas?
The book of Ecclesiastes, written by Solomon, answers that for us.
Solomon was the wisest and probably richest king to ever live. Just to put it into perspective, if he was alive today, a new Aston Martin One-77 — a million dollar car — would be pocket change. A Gulf Stream Jet — he probably would have 3. A Ferrari — he’s got a different color for every day of the week. His house would no doubt make it into a magazine or maybe even MTV Crib’s.
Solomon was the wisest and riches king ever and he could have whatever he wanted. The book of Ecclesiastes he tells us that is exactly what he did. He allowed himself to indulge in whatever he thought would bring him pleasure and fulfillment in life. He held nothing back from himself.
In chapter 2 of Ecclesiastes, we are told he indulged in the best wine money could buy (2:3). He had the grandest buildings, gardens, and parks. He owned vineyards and farms. He made himself pools of water to water the forests he owned. He had 100’s of servants and concubines. He had it all (2:4-8). In verse 10 of chapter 2 he confirms this when he says,
“Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure…” (Eccl. 2:10a).
So Solomon had every possession he could ever want. But in verse 11, he comes to this conclusion:
“…and behold, all was vanity and striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” (Eccl. 2:11b).
So Solomon, the richest and most powerful king in history who had everything he wanted comes to the conclusion that:
Stuff can’t ultimately satisfy us. It can’t provide us with ultimate fulfillment in life.
Question for Reflection
- Are you hoping the presents you get at Christmas will fulfill you?
Adapted from the sermon: Is There Anything Worth Waiting For?