Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store. (Dr. Seuss)
Maybe we'd find more joy in our Christmas if we really believed this to be true! Christmas isn't about the amassing of things given - it is about the acceptance of the ONE given. There are about two weeks left before the 'big day' when families will gather in homes, celebrating the festivities and wonders of time together. Snow will fall for some, others will enjoy touch football after gorging on Christmas delights. Let us not forget those who are far from home, who yearn for time with family, but whose duties keep them engaged in the fields of battle. Let us not overlook those who will spend their day ministering to the sick and frail, at the bedside of the ones facing imminent death, and helping those who struggle to feel at ease. Let us not gloss over those who walk the streets, searching for their Christmas meal, and hoping for just a little rest from the weariness of living on those streets.
Embrace truth and you will be embraced back. The truth of God's love is evident in his Son - embrace his Son and you will be embraced by the love that speaks louder than any words! In giving his life for us, we can experience the closeness of relationship with him - it is a gift given once, but enjoyed over and over again into all of eternity! This won't be a long blog this morning, but instead a chance to extend the invitation of the holiday season to those who have either never received it, or those who have not fully appreciated the gift they have been given. To those who haven't received - the door is open. Simply enter in. To those who have received that magnificent gift of God's love and grace, don't just make it a 'shelf thing'. The gift of our new life in Christ isn't just something we receive once and then 'shelf away' somewhere as 'fire insurance' to keep us out of hell! It is meant to be a daily experience - moment by moment enjoyment of his grace and love.
The 'season of giving' can begin right now - we just have to accept the one given. Then we enter into the daily experience of that gift. There are times we desire the gift, but discount that a gift is only a gift because there has been a giver of that gift! We need to look beyond the gift and see the giver. Jesus is waiting for us to recognize him in this holiday season - not just the gift of our being 'made right' with God - but in being able to continue to 'live right' each and every day because he is there helping us do so. Receive the gift, but don't overlook the giver. Just sayin!