In a Garfield comic, we see Garfield looking at a December calendar. He says, “It’s the holiday season. I just love this time of year. It makes me feel greedy all over.” It does sometimes seem that greed has overtaken Christmas, but it does not have to be. We need to remember the words of Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Carolina County magazine once asked readers to send in stories of memorable Christmases. Revonda Starnes told one of the most memorable stories. Revonda was raised by her great-grandmother in severe poverty. She grew up being confused as to why Santa visited everyone else, but not her. She tried to be good enough for Santa to visit, but assumed she was not worthy. As an adult, one day she mentioned to a friend that she had never had a visit from Santa or even a stocking. The co-worker urged her to hang a stocking on her front porch on Christmas Eve anyway. Revonda did as she was told and listened for footsteps, but nothing happened; so she went to bed. When she woke up on Christmas to retrieve her stocking, she saw a porch full of presents with her name on them. There was clothing, fruit, towels, toiletries, etc. Revonda said the act of kindness from her co-worker “renewed my life.”
A woman was out Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable–and after hours of hearing both her children asking for everything they saw on those many shelves–she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.
She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday season: overwhelming pressure to go to every party, every housewarming, taste all the holiday food and treats, getting perfect gifts for every single person on our shopping list, making sure we don’t forget anyone on our card list and the pressure of making sure we respond to everyone who sent us a card.
Finally the elevator doors opened, and there was already a crowd in the car. She pushed her way into the car and dragged her two kids in with her and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed, she couldn’t take it anymore and said, “Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be found, strung up and shot.”
From the back of the car, everyone heard a quiet calm voice respond: “Don’t worry, we already crucified Him.” For the rest of the trip down, the elevator was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.
Don’t forget this year to keep the One who started this whole Christmas thing in your every thought, deed, purchase and word. If we all did, just think how different this whole world would be.
(from Sermon Fodder and Joke A Day Ministries.)