One tiny gift really showed the meaning of Christmas

Published 1:38pm Friday, December 23, 2011

By REV. JAMES SCARBOROUGH

Donalsonville Assembly of God

I probably have not been the best of shopping partners with my wife during this Christmas season. As usual, we allowed time to slip up on us resulting in us doing the majority of our gift buying in the last 10 days before the big celebration. But apparently we did not need to feel abnormal about our procrastination, for there was a whole host of others in the stores on the same days that we were — rushing around just like us. Nevertheless, I survived it, and I suppose the rest of the shoppers did too. (Would you believe that I went to Walmart three times in one day? That is probably not a world record, but it was pushing it for me!)

As of this writing, the majority of the gifts that we purchased — under much duress in the midst of a mob of other shoppers — are yet to be given; by the time this column is published most of those packages will have been distributed and opened, and probably some of them pushed to the side without much attention being given to them.

There was, however, one tiny gift that I had the privilege of being involved in that quite possibly had more impact than others with a higher monetary value. It was not purchased, but it was still appreciated. It was not perfect, but that did not seem to matter to those who received it. I have heard it said that the most important things in life are not things at all; so it was in this case.

If those who know me well were to hear me say that I gave someone the gift of me singing to them, their reactions might vary — very likely some would snicker, while others who are more serious about life might be stricken with horror. And such reactions to that statement would be with good reason. But no need to worry, since my singing to others was not solo, but part of a larger group as we went to the local nursing home and the homes of several elderly people around the community to sing Christmas carols.

As we walked up and down the halls of Seminole Manor and stood by the doors of the homes that we visited, the looks of joy and appreciation on the faces of those elderly individuals that we sang to were priceless. It was a small gift that merely required a little investment of our time, yet I am convinced that what it accomplished for those to whom we gave it was of more value than we will ever know. And it was a two way gift that benefitted both the receiver and the giver.

When Christ was born as a tiny baby in Bethlehem, more than 2,000 years ago, the angels proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14, King James Version). And what He provided for humankind was so powerful that it brought about change for all eternity. Consequently, may all followers of Christ strive, with His help, to be used by Him to convey a positive influence upon the lives of others. Only eternity will reveal what a difference our tiny gifts of time and compassion can make in the lives of those that we have the privilege to reach out to with the love of Christ.

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