"For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
‘Tis the Season
‘Tis the season of tinsel and twinkling lights…holiday tunes and crowded shopping malls. December has come and brought along with it the joys of Christmas. I love this season and everything that it brings.
It is the joy found in family traditions, shared relationships and gift giving that I most enjoy about the Christmas season. I have eleven nieces and nephews that I absolutely adore. In addition to spending time with them during the traditional holiday craft and baking week leading up to Christmas, I love the anticipation and excitement of gift giving on Christmas Eve.
Each year with careful consideration, I make my way through crowded shopping malls and department stores, looking for just the right gifts at just the right prices, contemplating everything down to the wrapping, ribbons and bows.
The Joy of Gift Giving
Gift giving is a way of communicating love, hope, happiness and joy. It is a self-expression that acknowledges those relationships that are important. Reasons for doing so may vary: feelings of obligation, conveying gratitude, recognition, etc.; but whatever the reason, and whether the appreciation is equivalent to the anticipation or not, the desire to please is the same.
Gifts that bring the greatest joy are often those given from the heart—they are the gifts that permeate our lives with meaning and significance. As this season of gift giving approaches, I am reminded once again of the greatest gift of all and the reality of Christ’s sacrifice in my own life.
Because of Love
Out of His great love for us, God gave His one and only Son: "For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
Just as Jesus was sent to demonstrate the Father’s love to us, He commissions us to express His love towards others. With each new day there is the unique opportunity to give the gift of Christ. As His light and love shine through us, the gift of His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, His peace and His hope can be seen.
The Perfect Christmas Gift
Christmas is not just an event that happens once a year. It is a way of life that celebrates the presence of God within us. Through a simple act of kindness, a caring thought, a forgiving attitude; the gift of Christ can be unwrapped anew each and every day. The smile given to a stranger, obedience to express His love and encouragement in conversation, and putting others first—all cause us to be aware of His presence.
Whether or not you have that knack for always choosing that perfect Christmas gift, Christ is a gift that is personal, timely, and meaningful—all other gifts pale in comparison. Christ’s gift transforms ordinary people into messengers of hope and reconciliation to families, neighbors, and the world.
This Christmas, as gifts are exchanged, my prayer is that the significance of what this season brings would be remembered. God gave out of His love for us. It is because of this precious and most meaningful gift that we are able to celebrate this season of gift giving.
Unwrapping the gift of Christ anew,
Michelle M. Peel MA ’10, BA ‘00
Director of Alumni Relations
P.S. To those of you that participated in Multnomah’s Giving Tuesday earlier this week—thank you! If you have not yet had the chance, we are going to extend the opportunity to you through Tuesday, December 4th. Learn more about how you can start the giving season off right with a gift that helps to reflect the light of Christ all year long.