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Children Are Right About Christmas

The Freeman’s Journal/HOMETOWN ONEONTA

Edition of Thursday-Friday, Dec. 25-26, 2014

Many people remind us that Christmas is “more than just gifts.” And, of course, it is true that Christmas is more than tinsel and toys and electronics wrapped up under a tree. But still, most children get it right: Christmas really is about gifts.

Christmas is especially about the gifts we often take for granted. And it is about remembering who the Greatest Giver of all really is.

One of my very favorite prayers thanks God for all the blessings of this life, for our creation, for preserving our lives to this day. Even when other people give those gifts to us, it is God who created them, and gave them the strength and love and ability to give us those things.

And the same prayer goes on to add the greatest gift of all: God’s limitless love, given us in his son Jesus, who sums up just how great a love God has for us. In Jesus, God gives us the way to joy and life and hope, both in this life and in the life to come.

God’s love is for everyone – not just Christians. If faith gives a special gift, it is this: Believing in the One who was born in Bethlehem that first Christmas gives us some sense of how great the love of God is, and a reason to hope for blessings in this life and hope for a life of joy.

And it gives us an example of how to pass on gifts to others, and to live not just for ourselves, but with the joy of giving, just as God gives so much to us.

This Christmas, receive the gift and give thanks. And share that wonderful life of giving to others, loving as Christ loves us.

And, of course, enjoy all those toys along the way!

Rector, St. James Episcopal Church, Oneonta


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