"Moreover, Brethren, we make known to you the Grace of God in our Lord, Jesus (Messiah) Christ, though rich, became poor that you, through His poverty, might be made rich." 2 Corinthians 8: 1, 9 Apostle Paul goes on to relate the joy and comfort that comes with a certain grace: the grace of giving.
Grace is a gift and giving is a grace. We often say that grace represents unmerited favor and that is true. However, God's grace is to treat us as if sin never existed in our lives, so He is free to shower us with blessings in every area of our lives.
Thanks to a bountiful harvest, we turn our thoughts to graceful giving. Our children are watching, trying to interpret our hope for their calling; their futures. Tiny people express their wants, freely, and believe they will receive what they say when they pray. Mark 11:23 There is a fresh innocence in children that we all cherish. Matthew 18 Let us consider with wisdom what we demonstrate to them.
I made my singing and acting debut at the age of 4 in a church in California. Mother had created a small red, Papier-Mache boat for me. A big, red bow held ringlets down to my waist, secure. The white dress was fluffy, setting off the little ship and the Mary Jane shoes were shiny. I assumed the stage, held my hand over my brow and sang, "I saw three ships come sailing in on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day in the morning..." I'm not, at all, that sure Jesus was honored, but the 'cute factor' was on display!
Parents and grand-parents, our first teachers and role models, may miss a vital truth at this crucial and vulnerable stage in a child's life. Fresh, child-likeness is to be protected, for the non-gracious misuse innocence. Movies, literature, figurines and even Christmas cards try to capture this preciousness and turn it into financial gain. Does a little one understand: Where's the line to see Jesus at the mall? Have I been naughty or nice? Does Jesus love me anyway? Where is Jesus' present for His birthday? Was He put away in a manger, without a crib or bed because He was poor and sleepy?
No, but rather angels shouted and stars sang, "Glory to God in the Highest! Today, is born to you, in the city of David, a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord!" The Christmas story, Luke 2, may need instructive reading more often than Christmas Eve.
Graciously give your children – and someone else's child – a Christmas box filled with truth! Children always recognize love when it shines! A Gracious Jesus took children on His knee and blessed them. Embrace and tug your little ones under your Blood Covenant with a Mighty God and Savior, Jesus Messiah. Tenderly whisper assurance to them, "You are loved, Little One."
"Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling and faultless before His Glory with exceeding joy; our Savior, Who alone is wise, be dominion and power, both now and forever, Amen!" Jude 24, 25
Next Week: Miraculous Light