I’ve discovered that you can pretty much gauge a person’s age by their Santa Claus connection.
First, there are the years when you believe in Santa Claus, then the years when you don’t believe in Santa Claus, followed by the years when you are Santa Claus and, finally, the years when you look like Santa Claus.
Wherever you land in that, I’m going to assume that many of you are as excited about the Christmas season as I am.
This month at our Christmas Dinner Theater, Bridges Community Church will focus on many of the things that Christmas is: putting up Christmas lights, watching Christmas parades, figuring out what to do with gifts we receive that we really don’t want, singing Christmas carols, eating too much. There are many things that have become a common part of our Christmas celebrations.
One of the things I love most about this time of year is that we’re so focused on giving gifts to others. Though it can sometimes become overwhelming, it’s fun to spend time thinking about things we can give to family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. And many of us this time of year reach beyond those we know, to give to those in need. This newspaper with its Holiday Fund commitment shares the spirit with a desire to give to needy families and children in our community.
As a Christ-follower, Christmas is also a yearly reminder to me of the greatest gift God ever gave. At this time of year, we celebrate the fact that God sent His Son to meet our greatest need – salvation from sin. That, to me, is the ultimate gift and the greatest expression of God’s love for us. And it’s also the ultimate model of a life of giving that encourages us to meet the needs of others in sacrificial ways.
So that’s our focus at Bridges this December. At our Children’s Musical, we encourage those who attend to bring canned goods, which will be given to families in need. At our Christmas Eve Carol and Candlelight Service, we invite people to bring an extra pair of shoes, which will be taken by 55 people from our church to Mexico the next day. They will be building homes and giving shoes to those in need.
It may not seem like a lot to us, but it does to God. In fact, Jesus said that even something as simple as a cup of water, given in His name, is of great value to God. But it goes beyond that – it blesses those who are in need and the ones who meet that need.
I hope that amid all the things that Christmas is for you, you’ll take the time to look for ways you can give to meet others’ needs during this holiday season.
The December activities at Bridges Community Church are open to the community. We’d love to have you join.
The Rev. Dave Gudgel is lead pastor at Bridges Community Church, 625 Magdalena Ave., Los Altos.
For more information, visit www.connectbcc.org.