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Monday, December 29, 2014

Be a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

When confronted with a multitude of hungry people, Jesus said to the disciples, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat" (Matthew 14:17). The disciples then showed Him their five loaves and two fish. Jesus took it and most of us know the rest, He multiplied it enough to feed thousands. Jesus told the disciples to stay, not to go and get anything, but to stay with the people, stay when it seems like you have nothing to give.I think there is a very good lesson in this for all of us, especially during the Holidays. There are many hungry people out there. They are hungry for peace, love, joy and maybe just a little company.Everyone is so busy around the Holidays. Do we really take the time to be with people, not with the festivities?

I know I was challenged this year when my son told me to come to the hospital because his wife was going to have the baby soon. I took off work the day before Christmas Eve and came. I wanted to be there, but her labor wasn't progressing quickly and I had a Christmas party that I really was looking forward to attending. I decided to stay, though I felt I didn't have much to offer. Hour after after hour I stayed and helped coach, though the nurses were far better than me. I wound up missing the Christmas party, but then I was rewarded eight hours later with a precious, healthy grandson! I didn't do much, but I remained there in the delivery room. Sometimes I think we need to do that. Jesus did that often. Remained where He believed the Father above wanted Him. My grandson's birth got me thinking about how much Jesus had given up to be born in an unsanitary stable. Jesus gave God everything He had, even His glory for a time. What are we willing to give?

A friend of mine wrote in a Christmas card this year "Be a Merry Christmas to someone." If you're a Christian, you have the light, the hope of all nations. We have a lot to give others. We can reach out and help a hurting, dying world. Like the disciples. God has given us something we can share: maybe a talent, some material possessions or perhaps our time. We need to share what we have,our few little loaves or fish, and give to the world, our neighbors, our coworkers, or the clerk at the store. God can multiply whatever we have. We just need to present it to Him. The disciples didn't have thousands of fish, they only had two. We may have only one or two talents to give, but as we surrender it to God, He can multiply it for the world.

With the New Year almost upon us, this is a good time to reflect on what God has given us. As we realize how God has blessed us, then we can give what we have to the Lord and ask Him to multiply it, not just for ourselves but for others.It may be money, but maybe not. It could be your time, your talents or just a smile and a kind attitude.Perhaps its learning to get along with someone who is difficult or pursuing peace with your neighbors or coworkers. It could be staying with a challenging spouse or giving your time to a charitable organization that needs volunteers.Whatever it is you give to the Lord, He will multiply it and feed an hungry world. Be that "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year" to someone today!