Presents vs Presence

December 1, 2017

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Luke 21:29-33)

Jesus reminds us today that our lives, and everything that is a part of our lives, are fleeting and limited. Only He and the message He shares are permanent and life-giving.

Interesting that this reading comes to us during the height of the Christmas shopping season. We will load up on gifts and “stuff” again this year. We’ll wrap presents and pass them out. Those receiving the gifts will be excited and grateful.

Two months from now the memory of opening that gift will have faded, and the gift itself may very well be tucked away in a drawer, in the back of a closet, or sitting unused on a shelf.

I am certainly not trying to be Debbie Downer or put a damper on your Christmas shopping fun. I don’t think Jesus is either.

The Gospel reminds us to acknowledge that the things of this earth and the joy they might bring are temporal. We should keep them in proper perspective, and not place undue significance on them.

If you want the presents you give this year to have real value, offer God’s presence as well. Give the joy that comes from offering your gift with genuine love. If you care enough to give someone a gift, offer up a prayer for them as well. Those gifts will stay with them long after the gift you’ve wrapped has been used up or forgotten.

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