“As for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.”
~ 2 Thessalonians 3:13
While growing up, as we neared Christmas morning, there seemed to be increased emphasis on how "good" we were behaving when I was a child. I can even remember my parents telling me to, "be nice, or Santa Claus won't bring you any presents."
I knew that was true because my father actually received a lump of coal one year for Christmas as a child.
I have to admit, even aa a parent the whole "naughty" and "nice" approach to daily living seemed to have some real power over my own children at Christmastime.
You know the song, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," and "you better watch out!"
The whole idea that your behavior would result in whether you would get presents or a lump of coal in your stocking, was a clear understanding of what would result if you were good or bad.
It's funny how as children we can manipulate our daily living practices to gain presents, but when scripture asks us to be good to one another, or even to love one another, we somehow forget how to do just that.
"He sees you when your sleeping. He knows when you're awake," puts us in the holiday spirit as we sing the words as the song plays on the radio, but before there was this jolly old elf, there was an omnipotent God who is already present for every moment!
While we may find that we are in the first week of Advent, perhaps we should take these words to heart as the guide to living out the remaining days of our life!
The promise of eternal life should help to sustain our hope, and privide the envouragement that we may need to live out these words. Knowing that we are always part of God's presence as we live out these words, not in hope of ending up on a list of nice people, but as the instruments of the living Christ, should be what moves us to live out these words each day.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.