When I think of being chosen, I immediately think back to the 3rd grade kickball tournament we had the last week of school.  “The schoolyard pick is my favorite,” said no one ever! The thought of being one of the last kids picked still haunts me, but I’ll never forget the look on my teammates’ faces when they realized the little pudgy girl could REALLY kick that ball! 😀 Needless to say, I was on top of the roster the next day.

This time of year, we are choosing so many things a lot like a schoolyard pick. Choosing where to spend the holidays, what gifts to give our loved ones, which festivities will we participate in, and the list goes on and on.  Some of these choices we make begrudgingly, some out of obligation, some out of guilt, but we do them and wear our weary hearts out in the meantime.  I dare say that by the time the most wonderful time of the year is over, we are pretty much over it.

Being a follower of Christ, we are to strive to have his mindset, so why are we all so tattered this time of year?

We need to decide not only on the choices we are making, but HOW we are making them:  

Gladly choosing to give a gift.

Glady choosing to say no to festivities so we can spend more time with our families.

Gladly choosing to help out that family experiencing a difficult time. 

Gladly choosing to give up some “me-time” to serve a loved one who has recently moved into a nursing home.

Gladly choosing to: ___________________.

Whatever the blank is filled with, the Lord wants us to gladly choose to do so, because He gladly chose to do so. He wants us to do this, because He did this for us.

John 3:16 tells us: 

He gladly chose to come into a dark and dying world.

He gladly chose to live as human flesh to relate to us.

He gladly chose to die for our redemption.

Our pastor releases us every Sunday with this reminder from Jesus, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32 (NASB 1995)

Take time to ponder that this Christmas season. The Father gladly chose to give us His Son, the little babe in the manger, in order to gladly give us His kingdom. 

When the 3rd-grader in me realizes that He gladly chose to pick me to receive that precious gift, I can’t help but to strive to make my choices reflect Him. My prayer is that all of us experience His gladness this Christmas, and that we strive to be a reflection of His love and grace in 2023.

Merry Christmas!

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