It’s easy to forget the reason for the season. The true and most perfect gift–the one that never ceases to bless our lives–is often overwhelmed by shopping (even digital mall-hopping can be stressful!), travelling, tying up loose ends on the job and shopping (did I say that already?).
With two teenagers in the house, the giddiness and anticipation of Christmas has long given way to practicality. Or as my daughter told me last week, “Santa died a long time ago!” Now, she just goes online and buys her own gifts (with my credit card, of course), and my son simply hands me a list. Ho. Ho. Sigh.
But it’s okay. Both of them know that the only gift that matters, the only gift that lasts beyond the season is God’s Love–a Love so deep that He allowed His son to be born on this Earth simply to save us from sin. To forgive us our transgressions. All of them. Hallelujah!
So what do we do with this gift? Do we even acknowledge it? Do we simply unwrap it, then set it aside, next to the unwanted gadget. Do we tuck it in a drawer, or in a closet behind the ugly sweater?
My hope is that we all use this gift. Use it to forgive. To help you leave behind any negativity you may have experienced in 2012–any disagreements you may have had with friends, any arguments with family, any tension among co-workers.
God Love allows us–indeed commands us!–to forgive as we have been forgiven, to Love as we are Loved.
Lord knows it ain’t easy. Tension and anger are like a cough that won’t go away. It jolts you at the most inopportune times, and won’t let go. It leaves you drained. It won’t let you sleep. It makes others shy away from you for fear that they might catch what you may have.
Let’s leave that virus behind. Let’s use the gift of God’s Love, the gift of his Son, to refresh our hearts. To purge it of the things that may have hurt us this year.
There will be more disagreements, more tension, more life. But unlike most of the gifts you’ll receive this season, the one true gift will be forever at your will.
Use it now to forgive, forget and renew.
In Jesus’ name, Amen!