The Gift of Christ — by Ken Berg

 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 29:20 (NIV)

“I hate Christmas. I wish they’d celebrate it just every two years,” I said over lunch. “Better yet, once a decade.”

Two co-workers stared at me. “How can you say such a thing?” asked the first.

Easy. The holiday brings unparalleled loneliness and isolation. For me, it was like attending a big dance without a date, and being forced to stay for the duration, watching everyone else revel.

The other co-worker smiled and wagged her finger. “One day, you might regret your attitude.”

“We’ll see.”

Within a year, I lost my job for an unjust reason, throwing me into a period of unemployment and desperation. But I was eventually, almost miraculously exonerated and soon found another job.

“Thank you for getting me out of that mess,” I told God during a time of prayer at the close of the year.  After some hesitation, I added, “And I’m sorry for what I’ve said about Christmas.”

“It’s okay,” I heard the Holy Spirit say. “And cheer up.”

“Huh?”

“You know, rejoice! You’re never alone. I am always with you.”

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of Christ, through whom we have our salvation, not to mention your dear presence and grace.

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