What Time Is It?

It is that time of the year that a large number of people around the world look forward to. It is what we called the holiday season involving Thanksgiving and Christmas. A time when the birth of Christ is celebrated even though there absolutely no evidence to support this date as His birth. How-ever it is a designated holiday that we can take advantage of for good. Thanksgiving a time for gratitude. “It was a normal event each year to fast for a week and then have a dinner to celebrate the harvest. The Pilgrims called it Home harvest. In 1621 they had their first good harvest and had their dinner. Our view of this event comes from 1700’s artist’s renditions of what happened. It was Lincoln who declared Thanksgiving a holiday in 1863.” It was originally a thanksgiving expressed to God, but today it is simply thanksgiving for the good things that happen to us in life without proper consideration of the one from whom all blessings flow (James 1:17).

Christmas is another time of family gatherings when families (at least many families) get together, to enjoy meals and exchange gifts. “The name ‘Christmas’ comes from the Mass of Christ (or Jesus). A Mass service (which is sometimes called Communion or Eucharist) is where Christians remember that Jesus died for us and then came back to life. The ‘Christ-Mass’ service was the only one that was allowed to take place after sunset (and before sunrise the next day), so people had it at Midnight! So we get the name Christ-Mass, shortened to Christmas. The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December.” Although we cannot not know for sure regarding the date of our Lord’s birth, Jesus Christ should be considered everyday as the greatest gift ever given to the human family (2 Corinthians 9:12). Although faithful Christians realize it is not a religious holiday, this does not require that they not get together and exchange gifts and spend time together.

If I may let me suggest some things a family can give one another that will mean the most and will cost nothing. One will not have to go in debt, will not have to go shopping, will not have to use a credit card and will not have to worry about paying it back. IT IS FREE!

The first gift is love. Love is a universal language. How many children will spend Christmas without it this year? How many wives or husbands, mothers or fathers will spend the holiday alone? Love is the nature of God (1John 4:8, 16). As Christians we too must possess this character “He that loveth not knoweth not God…” Love is more than giving a gift, it is giving yourself for the good of others. This season let love flow freely from a heart of sincerity to all and especially to those you claim to love the most.

The second gift to be offered is the gift of kindness. Kindness is the opposite of harshness, bitterness, resentment, etc. It is the gentleness of spirit whose speech is encouraging, sweet, seasoned with salt (Colossians 4:6). It is being tender hearted in kindness (Ephesians 4:32). One of the very out growths of love is kindness (1 Corinthians 13:4). How many families during this holiday season will bicker, argue, divide or fail to unite together just because of something that happened in the past (Philippians 3:13-14)? The time together is not to show one’s approval but one’s love. Christ went to the cross not to show His approval of us but to demonstrate His love for us.

The third gift that can be given is a forgiving attitude. An attitude that holds no grudges for personal wrong received in the past. How many family will be divided and refuse to get together because of a wrong of the past? Reconciliation is a wonderful word. It means to make friends again, or brought together again. I know that it is much easier to say than to practice but honestly it comes down to individual willingness, not ability but willingness. Not only should we be kind and tenderhearted, but also forgiving (Ephesians 4:32). Let the holiday season be a time when we forbear (bear with) one another and if there is a quarrel against any put it aside (Colossians 3:13).

The final gift I would like to mention is, the gift of time. How many children or family members will be deprived of this precious gift? It may be because of work, alcohol, drugs, unfaithfulness, or other reasons, but one of the most precious gifts offered is our time. A time free of alcohol, drugs, arguments, cell phones, a time for one-another free from distractions. A time to establish memories (Ephesians 5:16). A time to share ourselves with one-another.

Let the holiday season be special for you and your family and may our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ bless you richly, keep you safe and may your time together be a blessing.

Bill Cantrell

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