Giving the Gift of Our Faith
Welcome to the season of giving. For the last month or more, we’ve been inundated with ads depicting the perfect gift for everyone on our list.
Gift giving can become something of a chore. It can become a selfish pursuit as we think more about what we’d like to give someone instead of what they want or need. And, it can even become a gift more for us than for them as we think about how we will benefit the gift instead of the actual recipient. I remember one year when I was growing up how got my dad a surround sound system for the family television. The gift was for him, yes, but we were just as excited as he was to open it because of the movies we knew we’d get to enjoy in crystal-clear stereo.
In this season of giving, how often do we stop to think about what it really means to give a gift to someone? How often do we really think about the needs of others and what another needs?
You and I as Christians have been given a tremendous gift — the gift of having a relationship with the God of life and salvation. We have been called out of darkness and into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:10). His Spirit that is at work within us gives us tremendous strength. We know and can testify the power and the hope of our God, that though the world may say no there is no future and that there is no point, in God all things are possible. With Jesus, we are given new birth into a living hope.
We have this gift, and yet so rarely do we share it. There are so many people that need to know the help and power that is in God, and yet we don’t have much drive to get out there and tell them about it.
Psalm 91:9 gives an assurance to everyone who turns to the Lord: “If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.’” This verse is a verse of promise for those who put their faith in Christ — as Christians, we may face challenges and hardship, but because God is on our side, these things will not overtake us; they will not overcome us.
O lives have benefited from this grace from the Lord. But now, think of all those who have yet to benefit from it, of all who have yet to hear about it. Think of the teenager whose story we hear all too often — a young man living in the fallout of poor choices made by his or her parents, stuck in a hard place and thinking there is no way out. What if he knew this truth? What if he knew he too could make the Lord his refuge?
Others need to hear about our God; they need to see our God embodied for them by the way we care for them and stick by them when no one else will.
This Christmas, let us give gifts, yes, but above all, let us give the gift of our faith.
Revs. Garritt and Sanette Fleming