Christmas is a time to forgive. Throughout the Christmas season the world rejoices in the greatest gift ever given to mankind: the Son of God, whose work it is to redeem men from their fallen state through divine forgiveness. Our greatest gift to another is not found in a brightly wrapped package, but in offering our forgiveness…extending grace to them just as Christ extends His grace to us.
Our gift may not need be the formal forgiveness required by serious offense, but we all have someone we have ignored, or left out, or turned a cold shoulder to, or judged because of a perceived slight on our part or a simple weakness on theirs, someone who our offer of an olive branch, even in the subtlest of forms, would bring new light and hope to.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and express our gratitude for His life and atonement, let us be doers of the word and not hearers only by extending forgiveness to others as He has to us. How can we celebrate the free gift He has given us, and yet withhold it from another?
Although the angel declared good tidings of great joy in the birth of a Savior, the hoped-for peace on earth and goodwill to men lies within our response.
Give your greatest gift this Christmas…your love…your acceptance…your inclusion…your forgiveness. Make this Christmas, and each Christmas to come, a time of reconciliation. A time to forgive.
Marc K. Ensign