Yes it’s that time of year again… and no I’m not talking about the “War on Christmas!” I’ll address that in another column soon… It’s Christmas card season though I know that the turkey hasn’t even begun to be basted and the pumpkin pie is still in the can! I must tell you though that I have officially received my first Christmas card… It was from a business mind you, yet the thought of personally getting them ready to send out has once again has begun to sink in.
I am also keenly aware of the electronic opportunities that abound in this realm but HEY, I’m kind of old-fashioned guy when it comes to Christmas cards. I like the personal touch that reflects a personal thought. “When you care enough to send the very best” has long been a popular slogan selling many a Christmas card! The ad sort of implies that you could, if not careful, send a card that is less than the best. And in doing so, you don’t care as much as you could… not that I really agree with that line of thinking.
When it comes to Christmas cards, we’ve sent em and received em, a whole lot of them! We send cards to people we haven’t seen or talked to in ages and we’ve received cards from those folks in kind. I’ve even received a few and with a quizzical look at Terri confessed, I don’t know who this is! It may be that’s just what some do when they receive a card from me! But I will tell you that there is a lot of power in a Christmas card. The challenge is not to get to focused on quantity and sacrifice quality. There are times you can tell when a card is hurriedly signed stamped and sent your way. And then there are the different ones, a card that stands out not because of the picture on the front but what is inside. They are not the ones that have been bought in a box. They have been carefully picked out. They even have warm words written on the inside that reflect the thoughtfulness of the sender. Those are the ones you read over and over.
Those are the ones that your eye catches as you walk through the house. Those are the ones you see setting on the mantle or the coffee table that says… this card was prepared especially for you. Only the very best will do because they do Love you.
That’s the kind of card that God sends… The very best. I can’t think of a better Christmas verse than the words of Jesus himself from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” You see, God loved you and I so much that he only sent the very best to us as an expression of his love for us. And that Love didn’t stop in the manger for Romans 8:5 says to us that “But God commendeth his Love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The word commendeth means to put on displayed. In other words, God displayed His Love for us on a cross. That’s where the manger points us you know. It points us to the cross.
That reminds me of a story I heard once. Long ago, there ruled in Persia a wise and good king. He loved his people. He wanted to know how they lived. He wanted to know about their hardships. Often he dressed in the clothes of a working man or a beggar, and went to the homes of the poor. No one whom he visited thought that he was their ruler.
One time he visited a very poor man who lived in a cellar. He ate the coarse food the poor man ate. He spoke cheerful, kind words to him. Then he left. Later he visited the poor man again and disclosed his identity by saying, “I am your king!” The king thought the man would surely ask for some gift or favor, but he didn’t. Instead he said, “You left your palace and your glory to visit me in this dark, dreary place. You ate the course food I ate. You brought gladness to my heart! To others you have given your rich gifts. To me you have given yourself!” The King of glory, the Lord Jesus Christ, gave himself to you and me. The Bible calls Him, “the unspeakable gift!”
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not peddling a specific line of cards here, but what I am doing is challenging us to express our love this season and every season in the very best way we can. God gave his best for us and may we be reminded again this Christmas season to give the very best to others!