We have just celebrated Christmas, the time when we celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is that time of year when we buy gifts, send cards, and gather with family. It is a time of joy and song, and beautiful lights. However it can become too commercialized and we tend to stress as the day approaches and there is no way we are going to get everything done.
But, we need to step back from the craziness and stress and remember the real reason for the season. For a child was born. That child would grow into a man who taught his disciples and then us through the words in the Bible many important life lessons. Then as we will remember during the Easter season, he was crucified on the cross so that all of us can have eternal life. Is there a greater gift that we could ever receive?
This year has been one of many challenges, one of sadness, one of heartbreak, and one of having to learn a new normal. There have been many times when it was difficult to think of anything we could be happy about, of anything that we could be grateful for. We have survived lockdowns, shortages of the necessary items that we use day to day. We have gone without seeing family members for extended periods of time. We have had to change our plans multiple times due to new guidelines and restrictions. Many people have lost family members who were dear to them and in most cases they weren’t even able to say good-bye and I love you. To put it bluntly, this year has stunk, it has been one of the most challenging years of our lives.
So why should we be happy, why should we feel that we are blessed? In the children’s message I talked about blessings and how blessings are like gifts. A blessing is a special gift, it is a good gift. It is a gift that we can share or pass on to someone else, maybe even someone who needs a gift more than we do. If we share the gifts that we have it is as good as receiving those gifts ourselves, maybe even better.
So let us take a moment to think about the blessings or gifts in our lives.
For me, I am blessed that I have stayed healthy this year.
I am blessed that George and I have a good income from his retirement and our Social Security checks so we haven’t had to worry about not having enough money to pay the bills, put food on the table unlike many people in our country that have struggled since March.
I am blessed that our children have been able to work during this pandemic and are able to do the same things George and I have been able to do and have not had to struggle.
I am blessed that I live where I live where I can go outside and breath the fresh air, I have space, and I am not stuck in my high rise apartment with no place to go to get away from the walls that surround me.
I am blessed with many good friends who are like family to me. Though we haven’t been able to gather together like we used to do, I know any of those friends would be there in a heartbeat if George or I needed help.
But most importantly, I am blessed because I believe in Jesus Christ and I know I will be blessed with eternal life. That is the greatest blessing of all.
So take a moment in the next few days and think about your blessings.
As this year that we thought would never end comes close to its end, may we remember our blessings, may we take comfort in remembering and hearing the stories of kindness, of strength, of fortitude that have come out of all that we have had to deal with.
We are blessed and we need to remember to share the blessings that we have with others. We need to remember that by sharing our gifts or blessings with others that may need them more than us; we in turn are even more blessed than we were before.
Blessings to you.