"For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich.”

2 Corinthians 8.9

Our Christmas celebrations provide for followers of Christ a simple way to explain why we are rich and wealthy beyond imagination. Born among beasts, dying among thieves, Jesus came into our poverty to bless us with grace upon grace. We are recipients of life we did not earn, forgiveness we did not deserve, a Spirit who blows where he will, all from a God we cannot control. We share a living planet we did not create, a family we did not choose, a history we did not fashion and a future we cannot determine. We are gifted with amazing promises to trust, neighbors to bless and possibilities to imagine and implement. All these gifts and more are ours. We are wealthy beyond anything we can ask or imagine.

The gifts of love, hope, peace and joy made flesh in Jesus at Christmas cannot be deposited in bank, fluctuate with the stock market or depreciate with excessive use. They are multiplied by sharing, accrue interest when given freely away.

Our wealth lies not in what we try to keep, not in what we earn, but in what we receive without deserving and what we joyfully share or give away. So we are simply invited at Christmas, each one, to pour out our lives for others, for they are rich and full and overflowing. Pour them out because it is precisely in those moments that we walk in the footsteps of Christ and share His blessings. Pour them out and become a child of God who receives every good gift from above.

In these mystic, holy days, come to know again what it is to be rich. Let the child, the One who comes to make all things new, find His way into our open hearts.

Then take some time to reach out to friends and neighbors and draw them too, into the richness of new life offered in this season.

May the rough places in your life be made smooth.

May the valley of despair be filled with comfort.

May the door to your heart be wide open.

May the glory of Emmanuel be with you all your days. Amen.

Merry Christmas!