Well here we are, trapped between the "Thank You" and the "Give Me" seasons. Somehow it seems that Thanksgiving should follow Christmas. That way, after everyone finished getting their Christmas gifts, they could spend a little time giving thanks.

Jesus taught, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35), but it is difficult to find many who agree with him. I am reminded of Lucy in the "Peanuts" cartoon. She invariably had a "get list" made up each Christmas. Of course, Lucy represented the perennial selfish child in the cartoon, but humor is seldom funny unless it is close to recognized fact. The world is full of Lucys. It is just that most of them are a little less obvious with their "get lists."

Jesus said, "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good" (Luke 6:45 RSV). We might hope that the season of thoughtful thanksgiving we have just finished might lead us to overflow with gratitude and produce an outpouring of true gift giving.

Several years ago, a man who was obviously upset said; "Give, give, give! That is all I ever hear from the church!"

The man to whom he spoke quietly answered, "You pretty well summed up the central theme of Christianity."

Let it be the spirit of selfless giving.
This theme may be best caught from John's gospel and one of the Bible's favorite verses. "For God so loved the world that he GAVE his only Son ..." (John 3:16, emphasis added). When the hymn writer, Augustus M. Toplady, penned "Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to thy cross I cling," he certainly was not referring to a selfishly clutched hand. But, many today could sing that song with gusto if only they could eliminate "the cross" from the phrase.

If there is to be a spirit to this season of the year, let it be the spirit of selfless giving. Learn the true lesson of Thanksgiving by giving liberally out of thankfulness!