清泉メッセージ_No.129「Christmas is about giving」
Good morning, everyone! Christmas is just around the corner. When you hear the word 'Christmas' what do you think about? Is it delicious food? Maybe it's the winter vacation and spending time at home. I think that many people would say 'presents' and this is the topic of my talk this morning.
So why do we give presents? One of the main reasons we give and receive presents at Christmas is to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by the three Wise Men. These men saw an unusual new star in the sky and knew that someone special had been born. They visited Jesus shortly after his birth and gave him presents to celebrate his birth.
All over the world, families and friends give presents to each other. You probably have the image of parents giving presents to children, but in many countries it is an exchange, with children giving their parents and brothers and sisters gifts, too. Small children who don't have their own money or people who have many presents to prepare, often make their own gifts. From an early age, children are taught that 'it is the thought that counts'. This means that the cost of the present is not important. The important thing is how much you have thought about the person you are giving too.
Presents don't always have to be objects. Like many people, the older I get, the less material things I want. When my children ask me what I want for Christmas, I usually reply that I want a day with no fighting and bad words; a day when the whole family is together; happy and healthy. So if you are still thinking about what to get someone this year, remember that giving your time to help someone, or giving someone a kind word are worth just as much as a book or an expensive bag. Love and kindness are presents that cannot be bought with money.
With all the toys and food and decorations, it is easy to forget about the real message of Christmas. The celebration of Christmas itself is about a big present that God gave the world about 2,000 years ago - his son Jesus! I pray that each and every one of you has a Christmas that is filled with love, peace and happiness.