The Greatest Gift
December Newsletter by R.D. Jess
Lights are being strung on the house’s. Families are gathering together to decorate the Christmas tree. Parties and presents keep us running around. Tis the season of chaos and Jesus. It’s the season full of joy and angry shoppers. Where both the closeness of a family is tested and enjoyed. To some, it’s a season of wonder. To others, it’s the hardest time of year. For me, Christmas is the most astonishing event ever to happen. I’ve talked a lot about forgiveness lately and I can’t imagine this being the end of this conversation. It will be an ongoing battle for the rest of my life. There will always be another person who will hurt me. There will always be memories that will re- surface. I am very conscious of the scars I’ve been left to tend to.
One night several weeks back, I sat talking to my younger sister. At one point she mentioned that she forgave me of something I did back in Jr. High. Since it was not the main point of our conversation I didn’t prob, but I do remember feeling shocked. In my mind, she had every right to be mad at me. Heck, I was mad at myself. In the moment I truly saw myself as a villain in the story. I was supposed to protect my younger sister, but I didn’t. Now she would be left with a mental and emotional scar that will follow her for the rest of her life. All the scars I was so keenly aware of, and the battles I have to face. She has to face it too.
I always made it a point to never inflict the same pain on others as was inflicted on me. Here I messed up, and caused the same sorrow. Still she forgave me. After a long conversation I retired to my room and thought about it all. It is a marvelous gift to be forgiven, especially when you know that they have the right to not forgive you. Our Lord came to this world knowing he would be rejected by his own. That he will suffer in every way we suffer. He chose to accept the scars, he was crushed for my iniquities .(Isaiah 53:5). Christmas is now the season, I see my savior coming down to forgive my sins. Out of all the gifts I’ve been given. The gift of forgiveness is the greatest gift I’ve ever been given.
James 1:17 says that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” As I am writing this newsletter I’ll admit some of my anger and bitterness has been present. I was unsure if I would be able to write, but I asked myself “How should I deal with this?” I started by reminding myself of the good gifts I’ve been given. At different moments this year I clearly remember thinking “So this is what makes life divine. This is why people find life worth living.”
Those moments give me the strength to carry on. If I suffer a thousand years, to receive one day with that kind of beauty. I think it’s worth it. So, I reminded myself of that beauty. That’s the kind of gifts our LORD gives. I would encourage you to count those blessings. To write them down and remember them. “May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” -J.R.R. Tolkien
Enjoy your Christmas season, find all those hidden gifts.
THe greatest gift (A poem) by R.D. Jess
What a gift I’ve been given.
The little child wrapped in linen.
The babe in a manger,
Is no longer a stranger.
But the greatest gift I’ve been given,
Is for love incarnate to say I’m forgiven.