Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Making Sense of Christmas

Buyers beware! Oh, shoppers beware of the increasingly complicated and restrictive return policies that have been set into place for the great after Christmas exchange! It is true. You can about read about it on “consumeraffairs.com” (link)

There is a “blacklist” of “serial returners” that will be checked, by some (not all) retailers, before accepting merchandise for a refund.

Stores will swipe the shopper’s driver’s license each time a return is being made, and if the store-set return limit is exceeded, the customer is denied a return.

And get this; most stores’ posted policies do not warn shoppers of a cap on frequent returns. Consumer right vary from state to state with respect to product returns.

The article states … “Shoppers may be in for some nasty surprises after Christmas …”

I got news for the store managers. If you think a blacklist is nasty wait until you have a very long line of well heated and over heated shoppers who (1) didn’t get what they wanted for Christmas, or (2) don’t want what they got for Christmas … and what do they want … to return it. Tell them, “Sorry you have exceeded your limit of returns. You’ll have to keep it.”

James N. Watkins in his article, “Yes, Virginia, there really is life after Christmas” (link) reports of how a crowd of probably quite normal people who, in the passion of the moment, can turn into a murderous mob storming the exchange and complaint windows.

I might add … they storm the gates of “no-returns” screaming, “I want to see the manager!”

It’s an all too familiar scene and it doesn’t have to be Christmas for people to get upset, thinking they are being taken advantage of.

What do we do when things and stuff, issues of life great and small don’t go our way?

What will you do when the Christmas present(s) you thought you were getting and surely deserve (after all you’ve been not naughty, but nice and checked yourself twice) aren’t there? Cry foul? Cry out, “I want to see the manager!”

Go back a couple thousand years and put yourself in Joseph’s shoes (okay, sandals). Can you imagine what He must have felt like when arriving in Bethlehem, after a long journey and seeing the neon “NO VANCANCY” sign flashing in the window of the inn where he planned to stay?

“Joseph’s the name, lineage of David and I have a reservation for a room. What do you mean you gave my room to someone else? Hey, I’m only a couple hours late, and my wife and I need that room. You see she’s pregnant, and I don’t think she is feeling too good. Yes, I heard you; you are full up, no room? But … yes, I can read the sign. But I made a reser ... the stable? That’s the best you have to offer me, Joseph, the lineage of David? Well, okay, we’ll take it. Hey honey, got our room!”

Luke 2:6-7 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Would you have stayed in a crummy dirty animal infested stable? Most likely after viewing the stable and contents we might storm the front desk of the inn insisting, ‘I want to see the manager of the manger!”

And that’s good, because the Manager of the Manger wants you to see Him. He really wants you to see Him for who He is, rather than some low-life inn keeper turning M&J away (that’s Mary & Joseph), as well as seeing Him as someone who is out to do you “inn”, or someone who doesn’t care about you, or listens to you.

So, yes! Let’s storm the “Christmas Exchange & Complaint Window” and say, “I want to see the Manager of the Manger!”

The truth is we all have a pretty “skewed” view of life and a “fantasy” filled mind of how we think it ought to be … at least for us.

We even think less of God, thinking it’s His fault we are not getting what we want for Christmas, as well as life.

You would think that if God is ruling and making things happen in this world, like causing a census to be taken so M&J would be in Bethlehem for the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ, He would have at least made reservations for them at the inn. Why could God not have done something better and more fitting than a stable and a manger?

“Good God almighty!” … we profess. And that He is! He is a good and almighty God managing the world with planned and purposeful intent.

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Cindy Getz

commented on Oct 4, 2007

Great sermons!

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