For weeks I have struggled with thoughts about what to write to you as Christmas approaches. I have to admit that with so much ugliness happening around the world, Christmas can be a nice diversion.
But when we look to Christmas as a diversion rather than for instruction,
we lose sight of the blessing God intends for it to be.
In the end what grabbed my heart to write about, were the instructions Jesus gave His disciples before sending them out to a world that was no friendlier then than it is today:
“The Kingdom of Heaven is near . . .
Freely you have received, freely give.”
Matthew 10:7 & 8b
Jesus’s words serve both as a warning–that God’s Kingdom (the only kingdom that ultimately matters) is only a heartbeat away–and, as a reminder of how our lives are enriched as we follow Him. As I reflect on Jesus’s instruction I am touched by His simple directness:
“The Kingdom of Heaven . . .
freely . . .
For those who claim Christ, Christmas is not a seasonal event, wherein generosity and caring are in vogue for a set amount of days. No. For those who claim His name, Christmas should be:
- A lifestyle–that reflects our awareness that Christ’s return is closer than ever before.
- A daily reflection of Christ’s Presence in our lives–as we set our sights on loving Him and our neighbor as He requires.
- Extravagantly given to those He puts on our paths–as we honor the Gift as well as the Giver who changed our lives for all eternity.
As I reflect on the times we live in, I am encouraged in knowing that living in such times, is meant to draw us ever closer to Christ. When you think about giving gifts this year, don’t limit your thinking to mere tangibles. Think instead about the treasure you have received in Christ Jesus, and give it away freely to a world in desperate need of His Light:
“I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”
All to His Glory!