December 18, 2019

Last week I was on vacation. It was a thrilling experience in which Shannon had me clean out the garage.

When I was busy with the garage, Shannon walked in and excitedly said, “Isn’t it fun to clean the garage?”

What is wrong with that woman? No one likes cleaning out the garage. That’s like saying, “Isn’t it fun to have a root canal?”

But even though she’s clearly weird, I cannot imagine my life without her. That’s because our relationship is part of what gives my life meaning. Relationships matter.

This past Sunday in the Praise and Worship Service, the video clip I wanted to use as a sermon illustration did not load. So I tried something different. I started asking members of the congregation what they were thankful for.

The first person I asked was Michael. He said he was grateful for being married to such a “loving, patient wife.” I noticed everyone who knew Michael was nodding their heads in agreement that Jodi truly is a saint.

No one mentioned their house, career, jewelry, cool clothes, or the money they had in the bank. Everyone mentioned a relationship. That’s because relationships matter most.

When a lawyer asks Jesus what matters most, Jesus says, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39 CEB)

So as you go through the Christmas Season, make sure you remember what matters most. The shiny, new car will someday be a rusted heap in the junk yard. The newest, fashionable clothing will someday be in the thrift shop. The unbreakable toy will break. All those things are transient.

What truly matters is our relationship with God and others. Everything else is second.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me to nurture the relationships of my life. Help me be a person of grace, compassion, and joy. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Make the most of your relationships. That’s what truly matters.

Also, just for the record, if the lawyer had asked me what matters most, I would have said, “Tithing to FUMC Temple.” This is where Jesus and I aren’t on the same page. Having said that, Jesus probably has a better handle on what matters most. I’d go with what he said.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins