Dec24ThuDecember 24, 2020
This past week one of my Christmas greeting emails (from Calvin Seminary) told the wonderful story of a Christmas Eve tradition that the writer’s parents used every year. In the writer’s household growing up, Christmas Eve was the moment in which presents from the parents to the children were opened. However, before the new presents were opened, the children were required to play for an hour with the gifts and toys that were received the Christmas Eve of the previous year. The writer speculates that his parents were teaching him and his siblings both gratitude and anticipation, gratitude for what you already have been given and anticipation for what blessings you may receive.
I thought later that such a strategy might not be a bad approach to ending of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. Even though it might be extra challenging for the year 2020, certainly there are still some blessings that we can look back on and thank God for in this past year. At the same time, we look forward to 2021, realizing there may be unforeseen challenges in the new year but knowing that because of God’s presence with us, there will be times to express gratitude for God’s good gifts and especially the gift of love and hope in Jesus Christ. God bless you as you close out 2020 and open the year 2021.