Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sharing Christmas


“And when [the Shepherds saw the baby Jesus], they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.” (Luke 2:17-18)

Christmas is popularly thought of as a time to get and give gifts. But the actual biblical story teaches us that it is much more than that.  More accurately, it should be time for us to give not just gifts for Christmas, but to give and share the gift of Christmas itself.

And what does that mean?  In the words of one church newsletter article I read years ago, it means that this Christmas we should seek to…

…Mend a quarrel
…Seek out a forgotten friend
…Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust
…Write a love letter with someone you love
…Share some treasure with someone in need
…Give a soft answer
…Encourage youth
…Manifest your loyalty in a word and a deed
…Keep a promise
…Listen
…Apologize if you were wrong
…Try to understand
…Flout envy
…Examine your demands on others
…Think first of someone else
…Appreciate others & their deeds, however imperfect they are!
…Be kind; be gentle
…Laugh a little
…Laugh a little more
…Work to deserve confidence from others
…Take up arms against malice and bitterness
…Decry complacency
…Express your gratitude
…Seek God
…Welcome a stranger
…Gladden the heart of a child
…Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth
…Speak your love
…Speak it again
…Speak it still once again.”

[--Shared in the newsletter of College Park First U.M.C.,  College Park, GA (Advent date between 1992-1996 unknown)]

You see, sharing Christmas is more than just about the material gifts we give.  It’s more properly about the attitudes and perspectives of God love and grace that we pass on to others.  Especially as there continues to be stories of violence and tragedy in the news, when you  and I experience Christmas this year, my prayer is that these ideas above would be true gifts not only that you receive but ones that you also seek to give and share with others!  Remember, God loves you and I do, too!  Merry Christmas!

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