Each year around this time we engage in a little tradition that some of you probably do also. We place Christmas cards up in this area near the living room. Every day the mail comes its pretty cool to see who sends a card and to hear from them, sometimes see a picture or get a note in the card. And by Christmas time there are a LOT of cards on display ! And like when you receive them too, who are they coming from? Family and friends.
Family and friends are one of the blessings God extends to each of us. Do you think about that being the case very much? We tend to take these people God has allowed in our lives, for granted. We get busy with life and sometimes it seems the only communication is through a Christmas card. And soon we’re not much different than harried, stressed out Martha, Martha ! I think its great we have email now and texting is an easy way to just shoot off a quick note of encouragement when maybe you really don’t have time for an extended conversation on the phone. They can be a great way to show you were thinking and praying for them.
As you read Paul’s epistles he was very good about keeping in touch with his acquaintances and when he did he was very good also about letting them know he was praying for them and very good about nurturing them with kind and encouraging words. We do well to not read swiftly but carefully his opening and closing lines in his letters. They are chocked full of great lessons just as much as the core parts of his books ! For instance: “Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus. . . Greet Mary, who bestowed much labor on us. . . Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners who are of note among the apostles. . .Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord. Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved” (Rom.16:5-9) And on and on the apostle goes as he mentions by name twenty-five individuals and also some relatives and friends of these !! Imagine the postage Paul would’ve had to dish out today !
I’m not trying to lay a guilt trip on you [unless it helps] but if you’re thinking “yeah, I need to be better about this” then if the shoe fits so be it ! But why not examine why that’s the case. As the new year approaches maybe its a matter of better priorities, maybe its a matter of I’m too absorbed into my own life, maybe its a failure to realize God placed those people into your life for you to minister to them? Could I spend a little less time on something that is keeping me from nurturing those relationships God has entrusted to me? Yes, view it as being a good steward because people are very precious to God and as we grow in our relationship with Christ, that same preciousness of others should increase in us. Lots of cards, that’s a good thing – just don’t take them for granted !