Listening to the evening news is not my usual pastime. Sometimes I feel guilty when others speak of current events and I realize I’m as ignorant as if I lived on the moon. So occasionally I force myself to listen. One evening last week I was taking my unpleasant dose, when I groaned, “Not again.”
The news item had to do with a nativity scene in Paulding County that had provoked the ire of someone, and as a result the county was facing legal action. Several citizens of the county interviewed said they saw nothing wrong with the scene. One elderly lady said, “Without Christ there would be no Christmas.” But what got my attention was when the mayor spoke up in agreement with what the others had said. He took a bold stand for what he believed in.
Many public officials are afraid to do that for fear of the consequences.
This season, as we celebrate the birth of Christ, the Savior of the world, let us remember how boldly He confronted the naysayers of His day. He was not afraid to tell it like it was, and neither should we. God bless.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
We are now in the month of December, and that means that Christmas preparations are underway in all parts of the world where the season is celebrated. One of the ways we celebrate is by giving gifts. For many here in America that means spending a lot of money, maybe even going into debt. Financial analysts say that the average American spends nine hundred dollars on gifts at Christmas. That’s more than a week’s wages for a lot of people. Add to that food and other goodies plus decorations, and the seasonal outlay can be rather large.
Is gift-giving really necessary? Do we have to give gifts every year? True, the wise men brought gifts to Jesus when they found Him, which may or may not have been at Christmas time. But nowhere in the Bible does it say that people brought gifts to Jesus every year, neither did He give gifts to anyone. Sure He gave- of Himself. He spent time with people, teaching and healing. When He did give material things, He gave them food because they were hungry.
I am not saying we should all be cheapskates and not give gifts. I think giving is wonderful. I love to give, and I am also guilty of getting caught up in the shopping frenzy, making sure I have just the right gift. And yes, in previous years, I have gone into debt doing so. But now, I’m beginning to look more at the reason for the season, and if it is to celebrate or remind us of our Savior who came into the world as God’s gift to us, then I think at Christmas time we should give back to Him.
Let’s give to those who can’t afford to give back to us. The beggar on the street corner, the young woman raising her children alone, the elderly person in a nursing home who doesn’t have anyone to visit him/her, those in prison, and I’m sure you can think of others. Better still, ask your family members to join you in giving to these less fortunate members of out society. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40 NIV). Then you will receive bountifully from the One who has everything in His power to give. God bless.