Friday, December 18, 2009
A Sign Of The Times
While traveling around town the last few nights, something seemed very different. What is it? Is there something missing some where? The answer is, Yes.
This is the Christmas season, the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year. It is a time of celebration to honor the birth of Jesus, God's only Son. Parties, parades, and special music fill our calendars. Christmas trees, twinkling lights, and .......that's it! Where are all the twinkling lights and yard decorations? Where are the inflatables that were so popular the last few years? Missing. They are packed away in garages and attics, just waiting to make their annual appearance.
2009 has been a year of change happening in our family and around our town. The sagging economy has burdened many in our community. Job loss and cut backs, plus the drop in the stock market have taken their toll on this small town. It is safe to say that the majority of us have had to cut back in many areas of our lives. Less frills and extras; and more savvy shopping and spending have transformed us. Indulgence in things we once enjoyed have been pared down, or eliminated all together.
What concerns me is that people that do not have the means to lavish gifts on their friends and loved ones this year will become downhearted and forget the true meaning of Christmas. (It occurs to me that the previous statement is true as well, especially when people do have the means to lavish gifts on friends and loved ones.) The spirit of giving goes well beyond monetary gifts and frills--giving from the heart, is the best way to honor God's precious gift of His Son. A selfless act to benefit someone else reflects a loving and generous spirit. According to the dictionary, a gift is: something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.
What kind of gifts do you give? Are they the latest and greatest gadgets money can buy? Or do you give the gift of time to spend with someone? Something flashy to show off to others, or a special deed to help someone out? What is your favorite or most memorable gift that was not monetary in nature, and blessed you enough to remember now? Could you bestow the same kind of gifts on someone else?
God gave us the ultimate gift; His only Son, Jesus. Jesus was born from a mother chosen by God, just as we were born from our mothers. He gave His only Son so that we can have eternal life with Him in Heaven. What better way to thank Him, than to give the gifts that mean the most--the gifts that come from our hearts.
When I started this post, I asked what was missing. The outward signs of celebration--twinkling lights and yard ornaments--seem to be vacant this year. The question is, are hearts vacant? Do we really understand that no matter what our status in life--whether we have money or do not--God gave us His Son, and we need to celebrate that special gift!
My prayer for you is that even if the outward appearance of celebration is missing this year, that your heart celebrates God's love in a big way. The kind of way that makes sweet memories, void of monetary indulgence.