And at Christmas, generosity shines brightly in the Creston Valley. Over the last few weeks, I’ve enjoyed a front-row seat to the stunning heart of my community as gifts were given, money was donated, time was offered and energy was expended, all in the name of sharing the joy of Christmas. Through the Creston Valley Ministerial Association Christmas Hamper program, over 400 families received a joyful boost of Christmas cheer—all of it bubbling up and overflowing from the generous hearts and hands of Creston’s amazing people, churches and businesses. And that’s not all—numerous other programs also received incredible generosity this time of year, alleviating burdens and elevating joy during a season that can be very difficult for many.
Seeing this generosity makes me thankful to be here, to be a member of this community and a pastor in this great valley. In a corner of the world known for its abundance, its people abundantly share.
At Christmas, generosity flows. Some might say it’s just a seasonal thing, when hearts are warmer than normal, or perhaps have grown a size or two throughout the year. Perhaps there’s something in the air during this time of little light, something that makes us want to give back – we who have received so much.
But I also think generosity comes more easily during a season when we celebrate the greatest act of generosity the world has ever known: when the Father sent his Son to make the world right again, overturning darkness with the dawning of light. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son”—not because he had to or was forced to or didn’t have any other choice, but because the Father, in his generous love, is a Giver, giving. Whether fully acknowledged or not, Christmas time is a celebration of the ultimate gift given, from the most generous being ever.
“How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given.” And into the world of darkness, generosity shone. And it continues to shine, year after year, day after day, season through cycling season.
So thank you, Creston. Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for being people of abundance who share abundantly. And thank you for giving in a way that reflects the generosity of our Creator and our Giver. Christmas is a most generous time of year—may you both give generously and receive generosity in the true spirit of Christmas this year, and may we all know the ultimate gift given, on that silent night, for the peace of this world and the good of all humankind.