A Season for Giving
Tis' the season for giving. Every season is a season for giving, and every season is a season to be thankful. Charity and gratitude work well together, and somehow we are often thankful when we give, even when it may appear that we have received nothing in return. This is because we are always receiving. We receive blessings and love. The higher powers smile upon us and fills our hearts with joy whenever we give, and it is during this special time of year when these things are felt the most. We may not always be able to give material things as often as we would like, but we are always able to give the love and blessings that we are continually receiving; we give these things away in the form of cheer and joy.
There is a prelude to this special giving season. It is a day of giving thanks which we call Thanksgiving Day. We get together with good company to share blessings and gratitude and the cheer and joy that is in our hearts, and the more blessings we give and receive, the more thankful we become, and the more thankful we are, the more things we find to be thankful about.
It is like when the man from Galilee took a few loaves of bread, gave thanks and broke the bread, and along with a few pieces of fish, passed them into a large crowd. And somehow this small meal produced many baskets full of leftover pieces, much more than what he began with. So we too break bread and give thanks and find that we also have much leftover - leftover cheer and leftover joy, and we see the power of giving thanks, and of giving, as we increase the cheer and joy in this and any other season.
Tis' the season for giving. It is also a forgiving season. It is part of the cheer and the joy that we express and share. It is part of the blessings and love that we receive. We give the gift of forgiveness in any way that we are able to. We can give this gift in small ways by sharing our cheer, sharing our smiles, with all. It is a good time to let go of grudges and feuds; it is a good time to be patient and kind, remembering that it may be those closest to us who are in most need of our kindness and patience. This is everyday forgiveness, a gift that we receive every day from above, and like those pieces of bread that went into the crowd, forgiveness can also grow whenever we let it flow. Forgiveness is also a gift that we feel inside us, helping us, if needs be, to improve our attitudes a bit, allowing us to better experience the beauty and the joy of this miraculous time of the year, to better experience this wonderful world.
Tis' the season for giving, the season that, over the years, we have received special gifts of story from the saints of storytelling.
There is the tale of the green creature-like man with the too tight shoes and the too small heart, who on one Christmas eve, donned a suit of red and entered the nearby village and stole everything that had anything to do with the holiday to come, the celebration of which had annoyed him for many a year. With all these things, the gifts, the decorations, and even the food for the feasts, he made his way up his mountain and waited for the deep disappointment of the villagers when they realized that the holiday that was soon to arrive, would not. But it was to his own astonishment that Christmas did indeed arrive even without all that beloved stuff, and the power and the spirit of that holy day, as well as the power in the immense joy of the villagers, was something that he could not take away. He discovered that it was also something he could not resist, and like those small loaves of bread, the size of his heart was greatly multiplied. He returned to the villagers all their holiday things and joined them in their celebrations, ever increasing the spirit of the day.
His now large heart was filled with joy.
There is also the tale of that unkind, miserly, and sometimes cruel man who was a sworn enemy of Christmas and all that it stood for, the celebration of which had annoyed him for many a year. Then came that one Christmas eve when he found himself host to a few ghosts, beginning with the one of his former business partner who had come to warn him to change his ways, introducing him to a trio of spirits who would help him do so. This mean old man was taken to the Christmases of his own past and saw that he was not always such a miserable guy during this time of the year. He was then taken to the present Christmas to witness all the cheer and joy that he was missing and had been missing. He was shown a scary future Christmas, where he came face to face with his own mortality, his passing an event that appeared to have no mourners. It was not made clear to him whether this was a definite future or a possible one. He chose the latter and awoke to beautiful Christmas morning a profoundly changed man, becoming a hero of this holy day. He became as kind as anyone, sharing in their merrymaking, and he used his prosperity to help others, and again like the breaking of the bread, his joy of the season increased the joy in his town and in the world. He began his new life with a hearty laugh.
We read the stories and we watch the films - and there are many more, and our hearts are filled with joy. Yet there is another transformation about to take place, a special one. It is when the power and the spirit becomes flesh and bones, when the power and the spirit becomes a reality in the world. We await the celebration of the birth of the Savior. He forgives and He heals. He forgives the sins the world and releases us from their bondage. He gives us the knowledge of salvation, a knowledge of healing and freedom and love. He heals many and when he gives thanks and breaks the bread, he feeds many, ourselves included, with his words and with his bread. He gives himself and tells us that we too can do great things, which we do whenever we give.
The Season For Giving
Tis' the season for giving, and the greatest of our giving is when we give to the children. We do this with humility, giving the credit to that legendary jolly elf, with the merriest of smiles and the heartiest of laughs. Every year he visits in his bright red suit with his magic sleigh and his sack filled with toys. We see their smiles and our hearts are filled with joy. We do our best to give to those children less fortunate, and we give and assist as best we can to all who are in need. And above all, we give our love, as our hearts are filled with joy and gratitude. We are glad to give; we have a strong feeling of gratitude. Giving and receiving blessings, we share in the miracles of Christmas time. We remember the lessons of good old Mr. Scrooge and the good old Grinch. We say farewell, until next year, to jolly old Santa Clause. And we remember Jesus, the Christ child, whose forgiving and healing ways remain with us all year long. We give thanks and break bread as we increase the love, increase the goodness, and increase the peace.
© 2013 Paul K Francis