A gift opens the way, and ushers the giver into the presence of the great. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Christmas time is rotten for cookies. They’re everywhere, aren’t they – I’ve devoured three today already. And they’re the good kind too, those chocolately ones that get crumbs everywhere, crumbs that you’re still brushing off an hour later from your shirt collar. But I like that people send cookies at Christmas as a gift, to say thankyou, that there is no other reason for the gift other than that it is Christmas time.

Seems it’s that way for a lot of things that pop up at Christmas, those wonderful things that we do to spread the good. The Salvation Army rings its Christmas bells in front of department stores, and radio stations broadcast segments about the best way to go about helping those in need; playing those games that are focused on the giving and you can’t help but smile as you hear all of those other people smiling too.

I haven’t personally called all of the charities around but I’d be willing to bet that their donations skyrocket during the holidays. Doctors and dentists and teachers all have bins to collect canned food for those in need, and churches are busy making sure that the homeless have something special during the holidays.

It’s the season of giving, so to speak, and it’s wonderful.

I often wonder, however, walking through the stores and the sidewalks, if that was how we lived the whole year round. How different would our culture be if we were always collecting clothes and food for those without homes? If radio stations were always helping those who need an extra hand? If we passed around cookies and cards for the sake of passing around cookies and cards, crumbs falling on our jacket collars even in January?

I like those people, I’m drawn to them more often than not, the ones who lend a hand, who pass around cake because it’s Tuesday.

And that’s really what we’re called to as Christians. To be the hand and the heart for others. In big ways, yes, but even in small ways – a card, a coffee, a listening ear – it goes a long way. Never mind that you don’t have a big ministry behind you, you have a beating heart and two hands connected to you, and this is how we spread the good.

I encourage us to live in this Christmas goodness all year round, even when the trees are taken down and the gifts are all gone. Turn rain into rainbows, and be the good that keeps on giving.

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

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