A happy and blessed Christmas to all of you!
We receive many gifts during the Christmas season: gifts of material, gifts of family, gifts of grace. We receive the greatest gift in Christ, of course, and if you’re like me, you find it difficult at times, especially in the midst of many Christmas activities, to appreciate how great a gift He is. And yet, despite the greatness of the gift of Jesus, and despite the inadequacy of our responses, He gives us still more. I want to take a moment during this Christmas season to remind ourselves of three of those other gifts.
He gives us the gift of time. “Then God said: Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the seasons, the days and the years…” (Gn 1:14) God knows our time and the plans He has for us, the work He has given us to do. That means there is enough time for us to do what we need to do. There is enough time for our craft, however much or little we’re called to do. And the time we’re given comes entirely from God. Every word we have time to write or type or draw, every moment we have to think about our craft, is a gift from God, that allows us to make gifts for the world.
He gives us the gift of opportunity. “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you… plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.” (Jer 29:11) God knows His plans for us, even when — especially when — we don’t. He knows what work you need to do, what will make the most impact, what will fulfill His purposes. Each time opportunity knocks, we must remember Who is the door it knocks upon.
He gives us the gift of talent. “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them…” (Rom 12:6) God gives us all different gifts, different talents. Further, he gives different amounts to each of us. How often we’re tempted to suffer God’s generosity to others rather than rejoice in His gifts to us. Every time we successfully write or illustrate or edit, whether the project is large or small, we’re using a gift of God. Every time, we should remember with gratitude where that comes from.
And he’s given me the gift of working with this Guild, for which I’m grateful. All of you–new and experienced, young and old, published and just starting out–have received, and given, many gifts in being part of it. Let’s continue that in gratitude and in trust into the new year. God bless you all.