Years ago, some people would tie a string around their finger to serve as a reminder to do something. Nowadays, people add reminders on their phone for things they need to do. Reminders are helpful, and we all need them occasionally. In fact, that’s basically what the Epistles served as for the congregations scattered around Asia Minor and Europe – reminders on how to live and conduct themselves.
In my house we have a sign that serves as a reminder; it says: Live fully, Create happiness, Speak kindly, Hug daily, Smile often, Laugh
freely, Seek truth, Inspire change, Love deeply. All of these are both helpful and necessary for good relationships to continue to thrive.
Similarly, Santa Clause serves as a kind of mascot for generosity. Although there may be a lot of mystery or myth associated with Saint
Nicholas, or Kris Kringle, or any of his other aliases, there is still something that he represents that is a helpful reminder to us. At the root
of Godly generosity is kindness. It’s giving something to someone because you genuinely want to help out or express your love and care
for them – not out of obligation or bragging about it.
Kindness is a huge theme throughout the Scriptures. From King David, who wanted to show kindness to Saul’s family, so he sought out
Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson (2 Samuel 9), or to Tabitha, who was always doing good and helping the poor. (Acts 9:36-39). Kindness
also is one of the identifying marks of living by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) that we should strive to model.
In Ephesians 2:6-7 Paul writes, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the
coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
God wants to show His kindness towards those who will trust in Him. Therefore, it's healthy for us to show that same kindness towards
others, just as He said in John 13:34-35, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will
know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”
This is a great time of year to reflect on the many reminders of generosity and kindness. And perhaps this can be a goal for all of us to
carry the Christmas “spirit” into every day that we have left on his planet.