Monday, December 9, 2013

A Christmas Bonus

I worked for churches for a lot of years. You would think that if any organization would understand the significance of Christmas and the birth of our savior, it would be the church.  And for the most part, that is correct. But while the corporate world often gives a monetary bonus to their employees during the Christmas season, none of the churches I worked for ever did. I received all kinds of gifts from youth and their families, and I never actually felt cheated.  But still...

There was one quasi-exception to this. While I was at Springfield Friends Meeting, every year a wonderful older lady named Margaret Ellington would give a cash "bonus" to staff members. Margaret was not some wealthy widow who liked to throw around her money to impress people. She was a secretary for a furniture company who was still working at the time. She shared her money from her heart- and as such, it was both significant and generous. There were people in the church with a whole lot more money who would have screamed to the heavens if the church tried to give a bonus. Margaret just took matters into her own hands and shared the love and the spirit of the season with us each year. 

The gift of the Christ child was one of unconditional love. Margaret's gifts to us were the same. I pray that this Christmas season I will give from the heart and honor the birth of Jesus and the gift of grace that was given to us all. Bless you, Margaret, for all that you gave and all that you taught me.

Jesus- the only hope for me is you- and YOU alone!

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