Eightball and Thundercloud's RANT

Greatest Gift Of All

So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians Chapter 13

Winter has arrived ahead of schedule this year. Tonight, I look out my window and see softly falling flakes of snow drifting in the dim light of the old lamp post in my front yard. How many times I've looked out and seen this same winterscape I cannot count. I wonder how many times I've looked at nearly the same scene and went about whatever business seemed important to me at the time. And how many times I've never really seen anything at all as life passed by me; and I never really saw anything. At all.

But tonight I'm feeling wistful and pensive. Not sad. Just thoughtful. I guess life is flowing by faster than I ever imagined it could. I suppose none of us at age twenty-five can fathom the value of time; seasons come and go and here it is Christmastime again. And, it really felt strange this night to think that Christmas is only about a week away.

When I was child a whole week to wait for Christmas to arrive seemed a painfully long time. Counting down the days and hours made it seem even longer. But Christmas did come - it came and went; it came and went many times and now here I am, many years older, and hopefully, many years wiser, looking back over all those Christmases past. A week until Christmas? And it will come and be gone in a blink of an eye.

As I look back at Christmases past, the ones I remember most are the ones where I had the least. Perhaps the lavish gifts of the more prosperous years got in the way of the greatest gift of all. Maybe I buried the greatest gift under mountains of other less important gifts. You know the ones, those gifts that soon find their way into the dark, forgotten corners of cluttered closets. The ones that eventually end up discarded in the trash.

It's such a difficult time now for the younger people in our world. It's hard recognize the greatest gift when television commercials try to teach us that we can buy someone's love with something as cheap as a diamond. For what kind of love is love that must be purchased?

And, sadly it's true - sometimes it can be very hard to see any evidence of the true Spirit or Meaning of Christmas anywhere around us today. But, the Spirit of Christmas is like the wind; just because we cannot see it, does not mean it is not there. If you keep Christmas in your heart, then Christmas will be everywhere you go.

Christmas is almost here again. And whether or not anyone believes in Christmas, does not matter to me.  I believe in Christmas. And, all those like me, who believe in Christmas will keep Christmas alive despite those who try so hard to destroy it.

It now falls upon those of us who still believe in Christmas to keep the bright Torch of Christmas burning for this generation and the next. I am certain that if we do, the glow from that Torch will continue to light the world. All we have to do is keep the Torch burning. And, never, ever, let it grow dim.

Over two thousand years ago a child was born in Bethlehem and during His short time upon this earth, He taught everyone, (believer and non-believer alike) the same lesson: Love others as you love yourself.

This Christmas be an example. Keep the torch of Christmas burning. It really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks; it only matters what you think. Say "Merry Christmas" with a smile and you'll keep the the Spirit of Christmas alive. And it will remain alive forever. 

Carry the Torch of Christmas wherever you go, and never let its fire die. Remember to love those that do not believe as you do as much as those who do.

Be cheerful and compassionate; be understanding of others and have faith.  Set a shining example by carrying the Torch of Christmas and holding it high. Let the world see your Christmas spirit and let the glow from it light the world.

Be gentle, be kind, be understanding; be tolerant of others who do not believe as you do, in this world there will be many. And be of good cheer. Remember the Reason for Christmas.  Celebrate Christmas in your own tradition and in your own way because it is your right to do so. Remember those who are less fortunate than you and help them as much as you can.

This Christmas remember to give greatest gift of all. The greatest gift of all costs you nothing. You'll be far richer by giving it than by receiving it. And even the poorest among you can afford it.

Carry the Torch of Christmas with you during this final week before Christmas and light the way for others. Say "Merry Christmas" and really mean it. This is the season of love and peace. Long ago Jesus came into this world and showed the world His love and brought His message of peace to all those who would listen. Honor Him this Christmas by showing the  world your love.

Be a bearer of the Torch of Christmas and hold it high for all to see. Only you can keep the Torch burning. Do it for yourself, do it for your children and do it for their children. Future generations depend on all of us who hold Christmas dear to keep Christmas alive. Christmas will never die as long as we keep Christmas in our hearts and never let the Torch of Christmas grow dark. Over two thousand years ago, the Star of Bethlehem shone brightly for all the world to see; let the Spirit of Christmas within you burn just as brightly - and let all the world see.

This Christmas make the first gift you give the very best one: Give the greatest gift of all; give the gift of love.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.... So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians Chapter 13

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