December 2017 Good $ense Newsletter: The Best Christmas Gifts
Dear Good $ense Friends,
In the midst of this season in which the value of relationships is most clearly brought to our consciousness, one can’t help but be saddened by how much of our behavior works against the deepening of those relationships. We over-busy ourselves and over-spend ourselves – two sure recipes for relational neutrality, if not disaster. We further complicate things by giving and receiving more ‘stuff’ that we really don’t need and often don’t even have the space for. And that feeds a vicious cycle.
The cycle begins with our accumulation of things which, because of the time spent maintaining, protecting, storing and worrying about them, robs us of relational time. The isolation felt as a result of the decrease of relational time leads us to seek solace in acquiring more things – which the culture says will fill the void we feel. This, of course, further decreases the time available for relationships and fuels the feeling of isolation and… well, you get the picture.
So I encourage you to ensure that your actions this Christmas contribute to deepening relationships – both human and with Him whose birth we celebrate. Something I read will be a help to me – and perhaps will to you as well.
It’s not your birthday, it’s Jesus’ birthday. So why don’t you give the gifts Jesus would most like?
Those words impacted me. Jesus declared in his ‘inaugural address’ (Luke 4:18) that he had come to preach the gospel to the poor, proclaim release to the captives and set free the downtrodden.
He probably would appreciate a donation to a ministry to the poor in a friend’s name as our present to them. Or maybe giving a child a sum of money – with the stipulation that they decide how it can be given to someone in need – would be a gift Jesus would like. What each of us is called to do is varied. But passive capitulation to the messages of our culture will not result in actions or gifts Jesus would “most like.”
This Christmas may you be the giver of gifts that are true gifts of love (Jesus will like all of those!) And may you also receive nothing less than God’s ultimate gift of love – His Son.
I hope this has been a wonderful year for your ministry and that 2018 will see it taken to new levels of participation and effectiveness. What you are doing has eternal value!