It’s the big week! It’s the week that we have all been working toward with anticipation and excitement mixed in with a slight dose of exhaustion and anxiety. This is the final stretch where the rubber meets the road and the wrappings meet the receiver.
As you put the final touches on all the gifts, I want to encourage you to sincerely pray for each person for whom you are preparing a gift. Ask the Lord to show you how to love the recipient and show him or her kindness. Think about it? What good is a gift if it is given with frustration, hurt or unkind thoughts? What does a carefully wrapped package mean to someone when it is simply given out of duty or obligation and not with love?
Let’s add true, sincere, Christ-like love to our gift giving this year. As we reflect on God’s gracious love for us, may we in turn pour out that kind of gracious love toward others. I’m reminded of I Corinthians 13:1-3:
"1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."
The passage goes on to remind us what true love (a Christlike love) looks like:
"4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. "
This week invite the kids to help you wrap gifts and prepare the Christmas dinner, and as you work together pray together for the people you are serving. Talk about the most significant part of any gift or most important ingredient of any casserole is the love that goes into it. Read I Corinthian 13 together. Have a Merry Christmas my friend.