This Christmas Season

The Christmas season has become so commercial, hurried, and even stressful at times. There are so many things on our to-do lists. At the same time, it is the season to cherish family and friends, to experience joy by giving gifts and to enjoy the lights and Christmas music. Each year, as I think about Christmas, I become joyful, and at the same time, anxious. My senses bathe in the Christmas sights and sounds, and yet I fret over what I should buy everyone on my Christmas list, when I know they already have everything.

This year I thought about adding God to my Christmas list. Now, that is someone who definitely has everything He wants. What could I possibly give God? Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is to give God thanks for all the blessings He has bestowed upon me. I have much for which to be thankful. I decided to Google Bible verses about giving gifts to God and what kind of gifts please Him. Do you know what came up? Lists of gifts God gives to us! There was one verse that I remembered from Psalms 51:16-17:

For you have no delight in sacrifice;
    if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.

The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

A broken and contrite heart is when one experiences sorrow for the sins he has committed, a deep genuine sorrow causing one to become humbled. I have felt this many times, more than I can count. I pray that God will forgive me and guide me in the future. I know in my heart that all God desires is that we love Him and love our fellow human beings. He asks us to be kind and compassionate, generous and caring. In the hustle and bustle of this season of Christ’s birth, I have decided to make it a priority to truly enjoy and appreciate those who He has placed in my life, my friends, family, co-workers and all the students He has entrusted in my care. I will enjoy even the passersby in my life, who I may only meet once in my life, my fellow shoppers, salespeople, drivers, everyone. I will slow down long enough to experience the joy of the Christmas season.

This means that I will forgive the crazy driver who cuts me off, almost hitting my car, to take the parking space I was pulling in to. I will politely forgive the shopper, who jumps in front of me to hurriedly grab the last item on the shelf that I was reaching for. I will forgive the rude salesperson, who becomes impatient with me because I cannot find my credit card in my purse. Forgiveness is the greatest gift we can offer God, especially if we forgive those who have hurt us deeply without cause.

Christ is our example. He never sinned, which means He never hurt anyone. He was always kind and compassionate, full of love for everyone. Yet, He was rejected, mocked, beaten and crucified. Some were offended by the truth He spoke, but even the truth did not warrant such hostility and violence. As Jesus hung dying on the cross, He forgave His executioners and all those who hated Him. His heart remained pure. This is the purpose of forgiveness. We forgive to keep our hearts pure, free from bitterness and hatred.

Join me this Christmas season in giving a gift to God. Appreciate all those who He has placed in your lives. Spend quality time with your friends and family. Thank God and thank all those in your life who have blessed you. Show kindness and compassion to everyone you meet. Forgive everyone. Reconcile with anyone from whom you may be estranged. Put the bitterness and ill-feelings in the past. When you do, you will truly experience the joy of Christ and have greater cause to celebrate his birth.    

© 2017  Helen Kamenos  All rights reserved

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