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Better to Give

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"
2 Corinthians 9:15

I'm sure you are all aware that Christmas is just around the corner. I can just imagine you are busy trying to finish buying gifts for loved ones. If you're like me, you're still trying to get out all your decorations. When you look at your calendar for the month, you see Christmas party after Christmas party you've been invited to go to and you feel like you need to attend them all. There's just so much to do and so little time to get it all done before Christmas day gets here. But, what is Christmas REALLY all about? Over the next few weeks, leading up to Christmas day, I want us to dig deep into what this season is truly about.

Today, I'd like to share a heart-story with you that hopefully will help us get into the right mindset and heartset for the upcoming celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Yesterday, our Sunday School class had the opportunity to go to a local nursing home with our children and pass out Christmas cards to the residents. I've got to be up front and honest and tell you that I wasn't too excited about going. I'm not a big fan of nursing homes; I feel way out of my comfort zone there. But, isn't it so like God to get us out of our comfort zones in order to teach us something new. While we were there, we passed out over 100 cards, sang Christmas carols, laughed with some people, prayed with some, and even cried with a few.

Tonight as my family and I sat around the dinner table, my husband asked our 7 year old daughter and 5 year old son what they enjoyed most about going to the nursing home. Never knowing what kind of response we will get from our son, we smiled at each other and braced ourselves for the answer. Once again, he did not disappoint. His immediate answer was, and I quote, "My best part was riding on the elephants, but I didn't get to ride on the horses." After reminding him that we had not been to the circus, but to the nursing home to visit the elderly, his response was "Oh, yea, yea, yea. The best part was delivering the mail to them." My daughter, with the compassionate and tender heart the Lord has blessed her with said, "The best part for me was giving them the cards, singing with them, and giving them hugs." She continued on by saying, "You know that best part about Christmas is that we can give people gifts. It doesn't really matter if we get anything, just as long as we can give other people stuff that makes them happy and it makes us feel good when we give it to them."

I think she hit the nail on the head. Christmas is not about getting, getting, getting. It is about giving. God, Himself, set the example for us on that very first Christmas day when He gave us the greatest, most indescribable gift ever know to man; His one and only Son, Jesus Christ. Stretching me beyond my boundaries of comfort, the Lord taught me that going to the nursing home wasn't about me at all, but it was about giving the gift He has given me to someone in need. I pray we don't get so wrapped up in the busyness of the season that we don't have time to unwrap the greatest gift we've been given and share it with those around us.

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