Friday, December 9, 2016

The Loss of Innocence

The veteran Christmas gift giver will sneer with cynicism at the words, “It is better to give than to receive.” Not so for a young child. Watch the little ones at Christmas who have reached the age at which they can save a little money to buy a gift for their mom and dad – they are the most excited. And it isn’t because of the gifts they will receive. No, their anticipation is to see the reaction of mom and dad when they open the hard earned gift the little one has bought for them.

The present may cost only a few dollars. It may be something the child has made. But to that youngster, it is an expression of all they feel for the ones they love most in this world. It’s a gift that is meant to please and to see that pleasure on their parent’s face is what they most want at Christmas.

Unfortunately, such enthusiasm for giving quickly vanishes and the little child soon begins to learn the art of buying an acceptable gift at the lowest price possible in order to fulfill a social obligation. The child has lost its gift giving innocence.

Giving something we own to someone else is extremely difficult in most cases. And yet Jesus talked more about giving than he did about heaven or prayer. To him, the way we use our time, abilities and material possessions is a reflection on our relationship with him. While it is easy to say, “Jesus is my Savior and the Lord of my life,” our ability or inability to freely give is a pretty accurate indicator if we truly mean that statement.

Most people think the most dangerous sins are the ones that give us pleasure. According to Jesus, what really threatens us is the idol of the attitude: “my time and my stuff” which secretly resides in our hearts. The wise men worshiped Jesus as King. They confirmed their words with their gifts. Because of Christmas, there’s no reason to lose the giving innocence.

Saturday evening worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

My photo
Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.