The gift that keeps on giving

Chances are, most of us received at least one material gift from a friend or loved one in the last few weeks. We also most likely gave a gift to a friend or loved one. Chances are also high that giving and/or receiving a gift brought us joy. We might have spent considerable time picking out just the perfect gift for someone in hopes of bringing that person great joy. We have reason to be thankful for the gifts we give AND receive.

During the season of Advent, we are given time to reflect on the spiritual gifts of Hope, Love, Joy and Peace. These gifts from heaven help us focus and prepare for Christmas. Some of my personal favorites are the following:

Hope: Jeremiah 29: 11 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Love: 1 Corinthians 13 4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. …. 13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Joy: Luke 2:10 1And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

Peace: John 14:27 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

A few additional gifts during the season we can be thankful for include the gift of family, friends, and time. Time to reconnect. Time to reflect on the year. Time to refresh. Downtime away from the usual daily grind. God gives us time during Advent to help us prepare but also to refocus on the many gifts he gives us. May we use these gifts wisely! (Note to self: use the gift of time over the holidays.)

As we celebrate these days of Christmas, we are all well aware of the greatest gift, the gift that keeps on giving: Jesus’ birth. Luke 2: 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn……1“Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Faith, hope, love, peace, joy, time….all words to help us reconnect during the Christmas season. Isaiah 9: 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  May this wonderful gift keep on giving to each of you in 2019. Merry Christmas!