Fri Dec 1-Grumbling all the Way?

Acts 20:35 (CEB)

 In everything I have shown you that, by working hard, we must help the weak. In this way we remember the Lord Jesus’ words: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”


This scripture takes me back to Pastor Joe’s sermon from this past Sunday. I am reminded primarily of Joe’s reference to the Mary-Martha story from Luke 10. Poor Martha, who was helping, but perhaps feeling as though she had drawn the short stick. Martha was stuck waiting on those listening to Jesus and just wanted her sister to help serve. The Lord gave Martha her unexpected answer (See Luke 10:41-42): 

“Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things. 42 One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. It won’t be taken away from her.” 

Like Martha, how often might the details of preparing for any event weigh us down? Perhaps soon enough, we find ourselves not even enjoying the moment. This seems particularly true when we give our time out of obligation and less so out of the love of God. Especially, when we are helping during this or any other Christmastime, how do we always help others with God’s love in our hearts? 

Careful now, because your grumpy thoughts about “having to serve” could sideline your actions and give you away. For the workers and doers of the world –and God knows, I am one- do we always give of our time, goods and services so cheerfully? Do we share out of the gift that Jesus painstakingly gave so freely to us? Particularly for this time of year, if we are not careful, we could be jaded and grumble all the way. When it happens, I can sense my inner Scrooge peaking through. Instead, I hope I can and do give joyfully. Realistically, I know that there are days that I need a reality check.

Unlike that grumpy and sullen hater-of-Christmas, Scrooge, I do not wish to fall into the pattern of complaining about the busyness of today, or most especially, about the mission of Christmas, as if it’s just too time consuming to enjoy. I do not wish to count all my gifts under the tree or consider what’s in it for me. My hope is to freely give it all away. My dream is to freely share the love of God without ever grumbling like a Scrooge.

by Barbara Carlson

For Pondering & Prayer

How does our Lord want us to react when we give to those in need?

I call it the Christmas Crazies. It’s that moment, when I know I am too stressed about what needs to happen, that I lose focus on the gift of Christmas that Jesus so freely gave me. During this Christmas season, how will you avoid the Christmas Crazies? With whom or how will you share Christmas for someone in need?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, Today and everyday, let me remember the Christmas gift that you have so freely given me. Let me share my gifts with those I meet out of the joy of my own salvation. Amen.

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