The Season of Gifting

        This last Sunday, we officially kicked off Advent 2017 at First Congregational. We sang Christmas carols before worship, we began What's in the Box?, we began our Advent preaching series, Fear Not!, and we crafted together at the Advent Workshop. Yes, Advent has arrived. With the arrival of Advent, we also have the arrival of the secular season of gifting.  Every family has already begun their shopping for the perfect gift under the tree. What is it that will make the recipient smile in appreciation and joy? We will all spend hours and dollars between the first day we start purchasing gifts, till we come to the end of our list.
            I find it odd that in the midst of this season of gifting, a season when we hope to spread joy, we, as a country are doing nothing but fighting. The divides continue to deepen, as we no longer look at each other as brothers and sisters, but we look at each other by a label. Our label is a political party, a color, a religion, a gender, an age, a disability or ability, or an economic bracket (and there are MORE labels). What stops us from being friends? It seems we cannot even listen to each other long enough to find common ground. My heart aches when people continue to be labeled, be disregarded as unworthy, judgments are made without facts, and there is so much focus on greed.  
          I know I can't change everyone. But in this season when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, who came as a huge surprise to the world, the very least I can do is to have HOPE in a world that mostly causes me fear. I continue to sing in my heart the song that touches me every Christmas season.
            "Grown-Up Christmas List" is a Christmas song composed by David Foster (music) and Linda Thompson-Jenner (lyrics). It was originally recorded by Foster, with Natalie Cole on vocals. In 1992, Amy Grant recorded a version for her second Christmas album, Home for Christmas. Of course, this assumes we can all be grown-ups. Here is an excerpt from the lyrics:
So here's my lifelong wish
My grown up Christmas list
Not for myself but for a world in need
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end,
This is my grown up Christmas list
Fear Not for I am with you!
                                                                                                            ~ Eldonna Hazen

Posted on December 5, 2017 at 11:37 am in Featured Content.

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