Monday, November 21, 2011

Are you giving a cross-shaped life?

The season of turkeys, sweet potatoes, pretty presents, and twinkling trees is quickly approaching. I can almost smell the rolls cooking and hear the scramble of shoppers in hot pursuit of the perfect presents.
Families will gather, fun will be shared and laughter will be heard.
But somewhere, for someone...the holidays will not bring such joy.
There will not be hidden treasures wrapped with tinsel and ribbon or families who gather for love and laughter. There will only be silence and a longing desire burning deep within for more.
There will be a mother with a broken heart who will not have the money to buy presents for her children, or a lonely widow who will not have family that stops by for dinner, or an elderly man that will sit silently on Christmas morn in a nursing home aching for someone...anyone to visit for a quick chat.
The true gift of this season can not be bought and wrapped in sparkly paper.
The true gift of this season was found in a manger surrounded by hay and donkeys and wrapped in cloths.
This baby, born into life only to give his life to die with arms outstretched, blood running down, crucified for our sins and asks only for our love in return.
God demonstrated, by the giving of his own son’s life, the real gift of this season.
God allowed Jesus to die, so that those who believe in Him would not die, but have the gift of eternal life in Heaven.
I am deeply convinced that Thanksgiving and Christmas season offer an opportunity to show a cross-shaped life by giving of oneself, with arms outstretched, unselfishly, and without any desire to receive anything in return.
In John 1:14, the Bible says “The word became flesh and made his dwelling amoung us...”
The holiday season grants each of us a chance to become His flesh to others by giving generously of ourselves, whether monetarily or just by giving of our time.
Allowing Christ’s unselfish cross-shaped life to become who we are creates a desire in the deepest crevices of our souls to love the unloved, suffer with the hurting, and pray with the powerless.
I have been the hurting mother with little to give and the lonely child simply longing to have my father hold me on Christmas morn.
But for the grace of others, who saw my needs and came to me with arms outstretched, pouring forth their cross-shaped lives into this undeserving sinner girl, I would not know the real gift of this season.
Once upon a time, having received the real gift of the season for myself, changed this broken, sinner girl and created a passion for giving to others.
Will you be that gift to someone this year? Will you give of yourself unselfishly, arms outstretched, love pouring forth through your cross-shaped life? Will you allow His presence in your life to be the ultimate present for someone else?

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