by Rev. Mark Caldwell, FUMC Ft. Lauderdale, FL
First, read Luke 3:11
Digging deep into his pocket, a young child grasped a object known only to himself. Noting the intense expression on the child’s face that betrayed the importance of his attachment to the object, the teacher inquired of the child what it was in his pocket. “My treasure,” replied the child. The teacher asked, “This treasure of yours -- do you think you could show it or maybe even share about it?”
We have been trained to live in a world that now caters to the individual. We are groomed to instant gratification and individualized attention.
But it didn't start this way. From an early age, most children are taught how to share. It is a value of civilized society that runs contrary to the law of nature that one should only tend to one’s own needs and desires.
In the Pixar movie, Finding Nemo, some of the most authentic characters created came through the flock of seagulls that squawked in the most truthful of ways as they saw something of interest and in harmony bellowed, “Mine! Mine! Mine!”
Christmas can certainly become a “seagull season” if we are allow our self-centered desires to dictate our pursuits. This is why our walk with Christ can remind us that we are called to be servants that are willing to give and share before we take and hoard.
John Wesley reminded his early Methodist constituents to adhere to this principle as he concluded his covenant prayer with that focus on giving as an act of glorifying God. His prayer concludes:
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.
Let’s go back for a moment to that child who was eagerly checking his pockets to ensure that his treasure was still there. What was it? Are you curious? So am I -- so you tell me. That child is you. You have a treasure in your possession and you have the ability to show or share that treasure. The question is — will you?
Luke 3:11 is a reminder to share what we have with others. Remember those neighbors from last night’s family activity? Bake two (or more) batches of your favorite Christmas cookies. (Who cares if they are slice and bake!) Enjoy one batch for dessert and wrap up the other for your neighbors who just might need a message of love. Or, think of another friend or stranger who could use some cheering up. While you’re baking, savor these special moments “shared” with your family.
What are some other ways to share what you have with others?