Welcome to the season of what one author calls “Hallowthankmass.” We rush from one Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas in a mad pursuit of enough. Did I buy enough candy for Halloween? Have I bought enough food for Thanksgiving? Have I purchased enough presents for Christmas?
And our anxiety about enough may be heightened by shortages and bottlenecks that keep some goods off the shelves. Already I have received several emails telling me that if I didn’t do my Christmas shopping immediately I would probably be doing without at Christmas.
But perhaps a panic attack is premature for two reasons. One is that the emails sound a little like a sales gimmick. John M. Hand worked at Kmart. He says that to sell items they had too much they would announce that you could only buy two of the product. He continues: “Customers would always ask me to make an exception and I would always say: ‘OK, just for you!’”
But the other reason to slow down and simply enjoy the holiday time is that the holidays aren’t about getting enough. They are about celebrating that God has already provided enough.
The Bible says, James 1:17: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. There is already enough and the God who gives doesn’t change his mind like the shifting shadows or the inevitable seasons. He loves and he gives. That’s who he is, always.
So Halloween can remind us of the existence of spiritual evil. Evil is real. But the Bible tells of a demon-possessed man whom no one was strong enough to subdue. But Jesus throws out the demons in that situation and others. God is strong enough to handle evil.
And Thanksgiving is not about impressing others with our ability to provide. The Bible tells of a huge crowd of thousands listening to Jesus’ teaching. Jesus tells his disciples to feed the crowd and one of his disciples says that eight months’ wages would not be enough to feed the crowd. And Jesus then proceeds to feed the crowd from one boy’s sack lunch. God is strong enough to provide.
And Christmas is about God himself being enough. Jesus, who is God, was strong enough to stay as he was and enjoy perfect peace and harmony. But he wanted to give that love to us and so he left enough behind and became a person and gave his life for us. He did it because he loved us.
So don’t let Hallowthankmas be a time to worry about enough. For some of us, there is never enough! But slow down this season and let it be a time to celebrate that enough really does exist: Enough of what really matters, enough of what we need.
And if you truly find yourself without enough, God’s children have been told to share what they have, always remembering there is enough. Seek them out. Let’s all make sure these holidays are enough.
Rick Cupp ministers at Kenai Fellowship. Sunday worship is at 11 a.m. and livestreamed on Facebook. In November we will be adding Bible classes at 10:15 a.m.