TRANSITION TIME. We have reached the end of November and the holiday of Thanksgiving has come and gone and because of Black Friday it seems the spirit of giving thanks ends quite abruptly in this generation and the spirit of getting seems to permeate. But I must say most Americans are generous and quite serious about finding and giving just the right gifts to others during the Christmas season. And I am glad that those that have for years tried to take Christ out of Christmas appear to be losing the battle though they are not stopping their efforts and many retail establishments have fallen for the “holiday season” rather than the Christmas season. But it is good to hear those words, “Merry Christmas,” returning more often to more people’s vocabulary. After all Christmas is about Christ!

With all the buying and giving of gifts let us remember that God gave the first and best Christmas gift that mankind has ever received. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV) None of us will give a gift this Christmas as expensive as this gift. It cost God the life of His Son. None of us will give a gift to another person that will produce the same effects as this gift—eternal life. None of us will give a gift as unique as this gift—“one and only Son.” The gifts that we give will one day fade away, rust away, break into pieces, be lost or perish but God’s gift lasts forever to those who receive it.

We can’t out-give God but we can take God’s example and be givers of valuable gifts that may produce eternal results; whether those gifts might be bibles or gifts to help the expansion of God’s ministries in this world. Or we might give gifts to alleviate the sufferings of those around us in both the physical and spiritual realms. Most of the gifts given this Christmas will have a short life span. May I encourage you to think through your gift giving this year and at least bless God’s kingdom work in your giving as much as you bless those around you in your usual pattern. Seeking God’s mind in the giving of gifts will help us to better bless others and bless God as well. Transition time can be good for us. Take a break from the rush of the world. Thank God for the great gift of His Son and then get ready to bless God and those around you. Merry Christmas!

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