Sunday, November 30, 2014

GIVING GOOD CHRISTMAS PRESENCE

LET’S BE HONEST one of the things we most like about the holiday season is the giving and receiving of presents.  I’m not going to say which is the better of the two, the giving or the receiving, I’ll leave that up to you, but I know which I personally prefer.  What? You want me to tell you? Nah!  That’s my Christmas secret.

As we look forward to the Advent season I desire to encourage you to give good presents. They don’t have to be expensive, but they do have to be good.  Allow me to clarify. They need to be gifts that bring joy to the recipient and joy to the giver. They ought not to be last minute dashes to fulfill some “duty,” rather they should be well-thought-out gifts that communicates that time has been taken to pick out just the right gift. They don’t necessarily have to be something that the person has asked for, or even needs, but something that demonstrates that you desire to show the other person their worth to you.  Of course, this type of gift-giving demands, time to “shop” and knowledge of the person for whom you are buying the gift.  I didn’t say it was easy, I only suggested it is good to gift in this manner.

Therefore, to help you out, allow me to share with you a few ideas for your Christmas gift-giving.  I suggest that this year you give true Christmas presence.  Truly, this is nothing new. Consider the reason we celebrate this day in the first place, it is because God gave us the gift of Presence, His Presence in the Person of Jesus, the Messiah.  Emmanuel, God with us!

So, how do we give these gifts of Christmas presence?  Here’s a list of possible presence:

  • Take someone out for coffee, and seek to do nothing but listen to their story.
  • Take time visiting someone who doesn’t get any visits, just to be with them.
  • Offer a gift prayer coupon book. In it are lots of “coupons” that the recipient can use to call you and have you pray for them. Or better yet, rather than call, pray face-to-face.
  • Spend the day on a hike, or stroll on the beach, with someone just to enjoy God’s beauty and each other’s presence.
  • Be present with someone at church. Sit with them, worship with them, laugh and cry with them.
  • Covenant a weekly telephone call, or if it’s a distance maybe even a Skype meeting or FaceTime chat.
  • Send a card, better yet a handwritten letter, once a month, just to share life.

I’m sure that the list could go on, use your creativity. But, allow me to make this one suggestion; be sure to give yourself the gift of presence as well.  Take time this year to make time for you and the present Lord to be in each other’s presence.  He desires so much to be present with us, all we need do is to make time to give us, and Him, the gift of our presence.

Emmanuel, God with us. Why would he have come if He did not desire to be with us?  The Lord desires and delights in our presence with Him.  He has sent the gift of His grace, He has opened the door for us to enter in, He has set the table before us, so that we would enter in and recline (get that recline) at the Table. Time and presence; it’s the gift God has given to us and it is the greatest gift we can give back to Him and to others.

This year, let us give the best Christmas presence ever!

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