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Fourth Day of Christmastide ’13

28 Dec

Today’s Christmastide verse speaks directly into my orphan-ness: Number 4

“For as in one body we have many members (and the members do not all have the same function), so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”

A holiday favorite in our household is Santa Claus is Coming to Town, the classic claymation Christmas story that explains the origins of Santa Claus. Key to the entire story is the Kringle family, who have been toymakers for generations. Their problem? They make great toys, but they can’t get them into the hands of children, so the toys aren’t played with. Thank goodness Kris Kringle, the orphan addition to their family! Once old enough, Kris decides he’ll make the risky trek to Sombertown to get those gifts delivered.

toys piling up

The church is like the Kringles’ workshop. We have received the grace of God, which has not only saved us, but has also gifted us. We are swamped with gifts! But, I fear our churches look much like the Kringles’ back stoop, with disheartened family members tossing unused gifts into an increasingly large pile.

Christmastide – the ultimate season of gift-giving. If only the world could experience the incredible gifts that we have to give in our church communities! First, we should be hives of amazing attitude – zeal, cheerfulness and generosity! Then, our “deliveries” to the world – our acts of service, words of clarity, encouragement, exuberance, kindness – should be turning our somber world into a place of joy.

Christmastide is here! Jesus has come, and “He rules the world with truth and grace.” Through graces given, he extends His Christmas touch to the world through His people, through us. With a proper self-assessment, a renewed mind, and a life of self-sacrifice, the gift of the incarnation can continue to give through the church all year ’round.

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