Well, at this point, we’ve survived the Thanksgiving holidays and probably have the next one in our sites. Before the turkey was cool, many were hitting the stores for bargains for the gift-giving season, putting up Christmas lights and decking the halls with the garlands and the tinsel. It can consume us, can’t it? Shopping for just the right gift and budgeting for all of the presents can easily overwhelm us. It can certainly take our focus away from our daily service to our Lord both with our time, and our finances. I think it is hardest on us women- wives, mothers and sisters- who feel the burden is on us to give the best gifts, cook an overabundance of food and to make sure our homes are holiday ready. But I am concerned that we allow the worldly notion of holiday to overshadow, or pull away our focus on the needs of the Kingdom and His work. I am reminded of the great example of giving of the churches in Macedonia. You will recall that ‘”the grace of God [was] bestowed” on them because of their giving: “that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality… according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing…And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God” I Cor 8:1-5. It is the “giving” season. I pray that we all retain our focus on giving to is important, what is needful and don’t lose sight of the greatest gift of all, the blood sacrifice that keeps on giving long after the secular holiday seasons are faint memories.