Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n24)
Life's Ripples from Broad Ripple United Methodist Church by Rev. Timothy Rasmussen
posted: Nov. 30, 2007
It is hard to believe that the holiday season has rolled around again so quickly. Although I'm writing this just prior to Thanksgiving, churches all over the nation have already started preparing for their Christmas services. Life in the church as well as life in general get very busy this time of year. I have to admit that I love the hustle and bustle of this time of year. It's fun to decorate, to visit with friends and family, to go to parties, to give presents and, of course, to receive a few as well.
However, time does not stand still for us to celebrate Christmas. Life in all its mystery still means that people will have to have surgeries, possibly be diagnosed with cancer, or suffer severe symptoms of depression. Poverty still exists at Christmas and people still go hungry. If you walk the streets of Indianapolis, the homeless can be seen wandering around the city trying to stay warm.
Every year, my wife has just one request, and that is a prayer that she will see the true meaning of Christmas come alive in some way. She can tell you all the ways that prayer has been answered over the years, but the one thing all the answered prayers have in common is that they came in small, unexpected, yet joyful occurrences.
As you wrestle with what gifts to buy and how much to spend this year, consider this. The best gift you can give is yourself. Take time to really listen to someone and show your care and compassion. Take the time to just sit with a friend who needs you. Being present for those in need is the best present you can give and it will come back to you a hundred times over. You'll discover the small unexpected joy that comes from giving something only you have to give.
Tim has been a United Methodist Pastor since 1973 and has been at Broad Ripple United Methodist since 2003. Email your questions/comments to tim@BroadRippleGazette.com