“Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.”
(Hebrews 2 verse 1)

Yesterday I mentioned that one of God’s greatest gifts to us is the beautiful world that God has made and entrusted into our care. However, the ultimate gift (which we celebrate at Christmas) is Jesus Christ, God with us, Emmanuel; given on the first Christmas Day and with us every day ever since.

Worldly gifts (big or small) can give us an initial thrill, a new car, a new piece of clothing, a new gadget or any other gift. But the thrill of the present can wear off. Psychologists call that natural human response “habituation”: where we get used to and take for granted even the best gift, finest friend or most supportive relative. Sadly we can all begin to fail to value things, or more tragically people. We can offset that tendency to undervalue possessions or even people by deliberately thinking about and affirming good gifts and other people’s goodness in specific ways.

Our Bible verse calls us to purposely pay attention to the good news of God’s love and forgiveness and not drift into not valuing it. Today, as well as privately affirming the goodness of God, we may get the opportunity today to compliment another person, naming some trait or treasure that we can see and admire in them. Let’s focus today on God, His goodness and value Him and others.

“Good and gracious God,
help me to focus on
and not lose sight of You and Your gifts.
Help me also to value others and encourage them.
Thank you for your presence in the world
‘Emmanuel’ in every moment,
God with us.”
Amen.

 

[Andrew Pritchard-Keens]