My father-in-law had a fun tradition of giving the grand kids coins. He would come around the room with a plastic coffee container filled with loose change. He allowed each child (and ultimately each parent - yipee) to dip their hand in, and grab as much money as they could.
I remember one Christmas several years ago, when he brought the can to our house.
In those brief moments of house-wide grabbiness, I thought, "We are a greedy bunch, aren't we?"
Then I looked a little closer. Everyone was giggling and chanting.
My dear, "Freddie", by far, was the most enthusiastic of the lot.
"Git in there, kiddo! Git ya all you can!" he would cheer.
He even offered the littlest hands to dip in more than once.
As jam-packed fists emerged from the can, renegade coins escaped between fingers to go bouncing and spinning along the floor. In full participation, our cozy crowd chased and hollered, and applauded the spectacle.
As Fred happily returned the lid to the can, each Johnson counted his bounty and finally washed up for dinner.
I am so thankful for the kind generosity of my father-in-law. He definitely passed it along to his son, and I reap the benefits and blessing almost daily. I am missing his sweet smile today.
But I am grateful that my Father in Heaven is the generous giver of Life!
He sent along His Son to make all things possible. Life. Love. Generosity. Joy. Peace.
This kindness leads me to repentance.
This Christmas Season, my prayer is this: as the Father offers Himself ... His presence and comfort, and His wealth, I pray we have the confidence to dive deep into His riches, hold tight to His precious promises, and be willing to share with others out of the overflow of His blessings.
"... For everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name."
"But who are we, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand....I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. O Lord, God of our fathers, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you." 1 Chronicles 29:10-18
"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." Titus 3:4-7