Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
To listen the sermon PRESS THE ORANGE BUTTON!
Yes, this is what we are going to reflect on today. 7 ± 2. It has a technical name. In psychology it is call the Miller’s law. It has to do with our ability to process information. We are told that we can’t focus on everything, that our ability is limited to 7 ± 2 objects. That’s it.
And when you think about it, it is roughly true about our lives too. Now, think about this, for this is really important – what your 7 ± 2 are, that’s what your life will be like. That’s all you are going to see.
Therefore, the question, that I want you to ask yourselves is this – where is your attention focused, what is on your 7 ± 2 list? Often those are our immediate needs. Or whatever society around us has put in the spotlight. “See this, you need it, chase it!”
And surely, there is a lot chasing after happiness and glory and riches. “If only I could get this, or achieve that, or become, or own, or experience, etc. … then, then I would be somebody, then I would be happy.”
But that’s not all. We all have also our daily and weekly share of problems to deal with, our responsibilities, chosen or imposed on us by circumstances, we have people who let us down, and people who behave like our enemies.
Then there is work and business, and finances, and mortgages, and health, and family commitments, and then … exhaustion. Just too much of everything. Did anyone counted how many things I just mentioned? Was it only 7 ± 2? Or more, much more? That’s what our lives look like these days.
Honestly, it is not surprising that we struggle to find time and energy for God the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, that we struggle to have Him among our 7 ± 2. The problem of our busyness is a real one.
What is surprising is that our God just wouldn’t give up on us despite of our busyness and despite of our indifference to Him. He keeps reminding us about Himself, He keeps pushing Himself into our 7 ± 2.
He uses different approaches to get our attention. Sometimes He comes with the unexpected. With something, that is not under our control – health issues, finances, relationships, depression, loss, mid-life crisis, or mid-mid-life crises, or late midlife crises, who knows how many of them are there these days…
Or sometimes we are just blessed to be able to pause and reflect: “Why? Why the heck am I here on this earth? What for? Who am I? What is the purpose of all of this?” Then we may have the opportunity to evaluate our lives.
What else is there? And one of those moments is… guess when? Yes, today! At Christmas. This is one of the seasons when our God forcefully invades our 7 ± 2 list and reminds about Himself. He is everywhere before our yes. For today the whole world, every continent and every county, every nation and every tribe remembers and celebrates the birth of Jesus from Nazareth. The birth of the man who claimed to be, yes, true God Himself.
The birth of the man, who told that He was born to lie down His life for you. And so He did. The birth of the man, who is the only One who has ever come back from the dead. The birth of the man, who changed the entire world.
And this is the moment when He invites you to turn your attention to Him. Because His attention is always turned to you. But what can we see, some may wonder, if we do turn our focus to Him? What does it really change?
O boy… then we see everything differently. I mean everything. Beginning with ourselves. Then you can see yourself not as you know yourself, but as God your Creator and Redeemer sees you. You can see that for Him you are this majestic and glorious being, created for great tasks and responsibilities.
Eternal being, at that, created for the life with your Creator and Redeemer. Maybe you can see someone who has lost, or perhaps has never known, His true identity, being all the time overly busy with some misplaced 7 ± 2.
You can see someone who is so, so loved and valued and longed for. You can see someone whom Jesus believes to be worth of His sufferings and death. You can see someone for whom your Creator and Redeemer has been waiting for years and years, and on whom He will keep waiting until the end of your life, if that’s what it takes. For He will never give up on you. Never.
This is how you should see yourself. Don’t settle for less! And perhaps, you can also see your God. For He has come very close to you. He has become as one of us, so that only He could speak to you and reveal to you His friendly heart.
You can see God, who is right here, right now, to give you His peace, to take away all your worries, to comfort you, to encourage you, to heal all your hurts, to fill with His affection and love all the empty spaces in your heart.
You can see your God, who has always been with you, who has always known you, who has always watched over you, who is always inviting you, always patiently waiting for you to respond, and who will never ever abandon you.
This is the day, when your God Jesus Christ gently invites you: “Turn to me so that we can be together, so that I can bless you!” And surely, we all are free to do whatever we want. For now.
“No one is going to tell me what to do!” That’s often our sentiment. We are free to focus our whole attention to the shady and messy place that we call our life, to the temptations and empty promises of this world, to our problems and craving. Sure, we are free to do that.
But you are privileged to have another option. You are invited to lift up your eyes and see everything differently. Yourself, your God, your future hope in the New Heavens and New Earth, which your Father in heaven and your Brother Jesus Christ has prepared for everyone, who responds to His invitation, and where He is already waiting for you with open arms.
I pray for each one of you, that you would choose wisely what to do with your life, with your 7 ± 2 units of attention. I pray that our God, your God would make it on your list, more – to the top of your list, so that marvelling at His beauty, at His faithfulness, at His wisdom and power, at His gracious and friendly heart your eyes would always be fixed on Him. For that changes everything. More than you know. More than I can explain.
Concluding, just a quick tip. Jesus didn’t come to give us quick tips, but this one is very fitting to conclude our today’s reflections. For it is not just a tip, it is actually Jesus’ promise to you.
“Seek first the Kingdom of God [put the true God on the top of your list] and all those things [whatever else you truly need] will be added to you.”
Blessed Christmas, Brothers and Sisters!