Bishop Matthew Thomas<br />To read more from Bishop Thomas, visit fmcusa.org/matthewthomas.
The Gift. Not much more needs to be said.
Jesus is the greatest Gift the world has ever received — peace on earth and every ounce of goodness to all humankind. That came in the form of a baby in a manger. Giving at Christmas follows suit, because at Christmas, we celebrate the Gift by giving to one another.
But something unique about this Gift should inspire us far beyond Christmas. The Gift was the beginning of an eternal flow of giving and blessing, forgiveness and healing, life and love and hope that will never die. Something is imbalanced if we approach Christmas as the singular time to remember the Gift by giving. In fact, Christmas is a time when it might be best simply to bask in the Gift, and allow the Gift to motivate us to give the rest of the year.
Jesus came, and we have never heard the last of it. He grew and continued to give. He healed, taught, blessed, promised and conquered. He went to the grave and bested it. After rising, He ascended with a promise to return. He is at the right hand of the Father now making intercession for us. We have not heard the last from the Gift or heard the last of His giving.
Christmas is a spark that should ignite a fire of generosity. It should spark a fire of regular tithing to the church. It should spark a fire of aid to the needy. It should spark a fire of giving our time and efforts in humble ways to those who need us. Christmas is a spark that started an endless blaze of love and hope.
Don’t wait for New Year’s Eve to make a New Year’s resolution. Let Christmas spark a pattern of generosity that might begin on that day but will swell throughout the coming year, finding new forms of expression. Our giving simply cannot stop as long as the Gift continues to give.0