HAPPY NEW YEAR
The unexpected passing of several of my dear friends this year has brought me much sadness and caused me to reflect on the importance of living our lives in preparation for the day when our time in this life comes to an end. As family and friends gathered to say goodbye to their loved ones and to celebrate their lives, we prayed for God’s mercy and blessings for them as they journey to their home in heaven.
At this time of the year, it is our custom to gather with family and friends to celebrate the start of a new life here on earth – the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. On that silent and holy night, the star shone brightly above the humble stable where Jesus was born as the shepherds and kings joined Mary and Joseph in marvelous adoration of the baby fast asleep in the manger. The kings brought precious gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh and the angels sang beautiful songs of joy to the world.
Like the three kings in the nativity story, we also offer gifts to our family and friends in celebrating Christmas. These gifts are an expression of love and friendship that connect us to each other. The thought occurred to me of giving a gift to Jesus, not the infant, but our Risen Lord and Redeemer. What gifts could we offer that would be pleasing to him?
- – Trust in God’s love and mercy
- – Be compassionate and forgiving
- – Share words of comfort and encouragement
- – Be generous with acts of kindness
- – Be always thankful for all of God’s gifts
- – Obey God’s will
Maybe we could package all these gifts in an all-in-one gift – Love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and our neighbour as ourselves. We will know for sure that Jesus is pleased with our gift when he says – “Come and inherit the kingdom prepared for you.”
May you and your family be blessed with the peace and joy of Christ during this holy season and may the spirit of Christmas be with all of you throughout the New Year!