A guest post written by Diana Colarossi
December is the “gift giving” month when religious holidays become an occasion for exchanging tokens of love. January, on the other hand, isn’t thought of in these terms – and neither is any other month of the year – but valuable gifts are given every day of the year.
Millions of people give caring gifts throughout the year by volunteering. According to the Corporation for National & Community Service, in America more than 62.8 million adults (excluding minors) volunteered in 2010, logging more than 8.1 billion hours of service. The value of this gift is estimated at $173 billion. Think of what all of those gifts included: gifts of food for those who are hungry, permanent housing for those needing shelter, babysitting for parents so they can work, caring for and finding loving homes for animals that would otherwise be euthanized.
There’s another way to give. Christians are instructed to give the priceless gift that they have received, the love of the Christ. Christ Jesus loved us perfectly, as we were created. He lived and taught others of God’s exalted view of His creation, which healed all appearances of disease, death, and sin.
This teaching of God’s exalted view of humanity enabled Peter and John, in the book of Acts, to heal a man they encountered at a temple. When they arrive at a temple at the time of prayer, they see a man who was born lame requesting alms from them as they are entering the temple. Peter looks at the man and says, “…Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” These two men gave a gift more valuable than silver and gold; they healed him of a lifelong disability. They had accepted God’s view of this man, and it in turn became the gift of healing they gave.
Each day I try to remember to do what Peter wrote in his first epistle, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”
Christ Jesus’ magnificent and priceless gift has been given to everyone and in turn is to be given for all time. So, we can be assured that we have a perennial gift to receive and give each and every day of the year.