Thursday, December 30, 2004

Busy Month and a Gift of Life

Man has it been a busy month. I've had the month off of school, but yet I've managed to cram all that open time with moving, more work, school related stuff, lots of stuff at church, holidays, and I know that's only the things off of the top of my head.

I've had very little to no access to a computer since my parents moved, and now I finally do! Yeah!!! So I've moved in with my good friends Paul and Erin Beaulieu (, and they have graciously given up their office so I could be on this side of town. I'm near my parents who are now on Greenfield and Ray, my brother and sister on Gilbert and Brown, my church on Cooper and Warner, and finally my work on Gilbert and Main. A good friend of mine will soon be moving this way as well. I hope it's a trend that all my friends follow, cause I feel like I'm a long way away from a number of them.

I've decided not to be a stick in the mud and point out how I was so disappointed with how lax or shall I say syncretistic everyone has gotten with Christmas this year. I'll save that for one of my latter blogs. Instead I've decided to blog on how great my holiday or shall I say Holyday was this year. I expected nothing for Christmas this year. I was just glad I would be able to spend it with the people I love most, my family. I didn't want anything for Christmas. Christmas wasn't about wanting anymore, but about sharing. Very similar to Passover, I gathered together with those I loved and shared a meal together remembering how Jesus gave up everything to come and give the greatest gift of all, His life. I was surprised when the Beaulieu's awakened me in the morning and gave me a gift. Especially since it wasn't a cheap gift and was one that I know Paul would have bought for himself. Even more to my surprise was that Erin's parents bought me a gift and gave it to me as we were eating breakfast. I was beside myself. Later that day my friend Tim Allen came over and we headed to my parents house to eat. Tim's a good friend that I've met through the Grace Community college group. Since he couldn't afford to go home for Christmas, we invited him and were blessed to have him spend it with us. We ate great food, a meal that only kings, queens, and other nobility would have been able to eat centuries ago. I was kinda surprised that my parents got me anything for Christmas. I knew they were probably tight on money and our extended family usually draws names anyway. Figured that I would probably get something from my aunt Cindi's husband Sid and that would be it. I got three gifts from my parents. I couldn't believe it. I wanted to bless them so I got them a little something, but I had the money to spare. We sang songs of praise and worship to God while my brother and I played guitar and Tim played the djembe. That was a good time. We followed that up with a so so movie.

All in all a great day. I just wish Luke and Chris could have been there to share it with us. That would have been the one and only thing I would have wanted. But I knew it wasn't about me, God has His own agenda to keep. Luke really got to bless a couple of his fellow EMT's by taking their Christmas shifts so they could spend the day with their families. Talk about a Christmas present that has the very spirit of Christ. It cost him his holyday, and it cost his coworkers nothing. It was a paid day off. As I thought about the gifts I had received I came to the conclusion that despite the utter loss of meaning or incorporation of a pagan ritual into a Christian Holyday, there was still something significant about these gifts. They were a representation of a gift I didn't deserve, couldn't earn, and could never repay. They represented the gift Christ gave to me when He was born, lived, and died for my sins over 2000 years ago. These gifts cost the givers something very important, time. How so? The gifts cost money, and to get money you have to work which takes up the one thing you can never get back and have a limited amount of, time. Andre, the Beaulieu's, my aunt Cindi's and her husband Sid, my aunt Kathy, and my parents all gave me a part of their lives through those gifts they gave. I realize that the significance of the gifts doesn't matter, only that they were given freely to someone who didn't deserve them, didn't earn them, and didn't give anything in return.

John 15:13 Greater love has no man than he that would lay down his life for his friends.
Matthew 25:35-36,40 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you game something to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. Naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me...... Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it unto me.

Two great things come from these verses. First is that the above laid down a portion of their lives for me, though I am the least deserving, they did it anyway. They did what Jesus did. They have taken me in, called me friend, brother, or son. They have fed me and given me drink. Have clothed me, taken care of me and prayed for me when sick, and I've not been imprisoned physically, but I know they'ld be there. Secondly is that they have unknowingly served God and provided for His needs by aiding me. They are storing up treasures in heaven.

It is incredible that someone so undeserving, unmerciful, unfaithful, selfish, and unwise could be shown such grace. I've been given the gift of eternal life through the blood of Christ Jesus, and each of those gifts is a sort of communion or remembrance of that costly gracious gift He gave. I will never look at another gift the same way again.