“It takes a lot of candy to make trick and treaters happy on a Halloween night in Edmonton,” Ed said yesterday. This year Ed was in Edmonton at his family's home for his favourite evening of the year. He was the doorman at his son's house giving out candy to an endless flow of trick and treaters. Ed believes they had more than 200 children seeking candy. He had a great time even if he knew few of the kids at the door collecting their loot.
I asked Ed if the kids were being spoiled by collecting so much candy? My old neighbour replied that you cannot spoil somebody else's kids, too much. The only kids you should not spoil are your own kids because you live with them. According to Ed, you wait for grandchildren, and then you spoil them as you please.
Since the Second World War, all the generations of children have been described as spoiled, self-centered and narcissistic. From baby boomers to the children being born and raised today, it seems we have mastered spoiling children, at least according to public opinion. Are we all guilty, like spoiled children, of wanting all the comforts and advantages of life? Are we unwilling to share with others? Is there too much self-entitlement, among us all? Does it take a lot to make us happy?
It has been said that folks today do not want a Father in heaven but a doting grandfather who will give us what we want when we want it. If God will not spoil us with the endless blessings that we want, there is no point in bothering with Him. If God isn’t going to dote on us and serve us whatever we ask for, we do not want Him.
It does seem many people believe they are entitled to see themselves as omniscient or all-knowing. They do not claim to be God as eternal, a spirit, who is holy and gracious, or who is just and fair. Many are sure they are all-knowing in their thinking and opinions. Even folks who go to church may be there to worship their own opinions rather than God as revealed in His word and sacraments.
We all have a selfish nature that cries out to be spoiled. Too often what we do in our lives is for the glory of ourselves rather than for the glory of God and our neighbour. We live at a time when many are busy gaining as much of the world as they can possibly acquire. We are called to live in the hope that Jesus gives us freely. He did not come to Earth to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many. He died for all sinners, for we are all spoiled by sin.
Jesus, “Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant. He humbled himself and became obedient to death on a cross." While we have the opportunity, let us get our minds off earthly things and on to serving Jesus and our neighbours in the example of Christ’s pure love.