Things have been busy and hectic for the last several weeks...and I may not have an opportunity to post on this blog for another week or two, but tonight there is something else on my mind.
As everyone is getting ready for the Holiday Season, buying Christmas gifts, planning festivities, etc., we need to be mindful that what matters is not whether we receive (or can give) a huge pile of gifts, and how well we can decorate our houses, but whether or not we have received THE gift - God's gift of eternal life - offered through His Son, Jesus.
This past week we had a reminder of the things that matter most in the Christmas season. The wife of our Senior Pastor died suddenly and unexpectedly. We all know that our days are numbered, and we all know that we need to love and appreciate those in our lives now while we have the opportunity. What we don't know, or at least, what we so easily lose sight of- is that everything can change in a moment's notice.
As in the case of our Pastor's wife- who was at church last week, looking healthy, and seemingly fine. And a few days later she died. She will never know how many lives she touched- and how much she will be missed.
Her life has been fruitful- a testimony of God's love and faithfulness. Is there someone in your life that has touched you in an immeasurable way? Is there someone you value and care for in such a manner that your life wouldn't be the same without them? If so, I urge you to make sure that they know this- tell them what they mean to you- tell them how they have impacted your life. You never know when the opportunity will suddenly be gone forever.
Joyce's family will be celebrating Christmas with one less family member this year. There will be an empty spot at the table- and at church. There will be an empty spot in their hearts. And they will decide what to do with Christmas gifts that will never be opened by the one they were intended for.
Some year, some Christmas, this could be you- your house, your empty spot, your unopened gifts.
Make sure, that those you love this Christmas know and feel your love. Make sure they know that as far as you are concerned, you value them- not just their gifts. Don't hold a grudge- but like Jesus, be slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to forgive.
And most importantly, make sure you have personally received God's gift- of eternal life through Christ Jesus- just in case YOU may happen to be the 'empty spot' at someone's table.
God keep you all.