It’s that time of year again. With the annual “Black Friday” shopping frenzy approaching, many of us are turning our attention to thinking about buying Christmas gifts for family and friends. Of course, this year will be different. There will be limited Christmas gatherings and meals. The shopping malls will be ghost towns but the cyber world will be humming with ‘special offers’ and ‘fabulous bargains.”
However, my own attention has turned to a whole different world of gifts that I might consider giving this year. Perhaps you’d be interested in sharing some of them yourself.
The first one is the gift of forgiveness. In our faith, we consider the gift of Christ’s long predicted and long-awaited birth in Bethlehem. God’s promised Savior born into the world to join with us and join to us as a human being, born of a woman, just like the rest of us, is the greatest of all of God’s gifts to a hurting and broken world. His purpose was to show us in word and deed what God was like and what God wanted us to be. The first and most important purpose was to give the gift of God’s forgiveness as Jesus’ death and resurrection paid for the sin of all humanity for all time. Perhaps there’s someone that we need to forgive.
Of course, preparing us to extend it or preparing someone to receive it is a matter of prayer and careful thought, but it certainly could be added to our ‘Christmas gift list.’
I’ve thought of a few other gifts as well: a phone call, sending a card with a handwritten note inside, having kids make a special Christmas card and sending it, sending a knitted or handmade ‘prayer square’ with a small note attached (if you know how to knit or sew!), dropping off a small gift bag with a baggie of Christmas cookies with a small note attached (I’ve given these to my wonderful neighbors last year – it was a big hit!) …
Perhaps you can think of some others to bring a little light into someone’s life as a gift from Jesus, the light of the world, into the world of another.
By the way, this doesn’t necessarily need to be someone who is alone. As the recent resurgence of Covid have dashed our hopes of having it in the rear-view mirror for the approaching ‘holiday’ season, our faith still calls us to be beacons of kindness and caring in as many ways as the Spirit inspires us. So, let’s pray for inspiration and re-dedication to share the joy of the Savior’s birth in the month ahead.
Blessings and peace,
Pr. Mary Konopka