Somehow, somewhere along the way, the season before Christmas became the season for wrapping things up.
In the most obvious sign of the season, it will soon be time to wrap up our Christmas shopping. Then it will be time to start wrapping up the presents we have purchased for our friends and loved ones. Some of us wrapped up our Christmas shopping months ago and wrapped up the wrapping up of our presents weeks ago. Some of us won’t wrap up our shopping until until Christmas Eve, and will still be wrapping up our presents in the wee hours of Christmas Day. Some of us are somewhere in between. But wherever we fall on this continuum, it’s a good feeling when we finally wrap things up and put them (and ourselves) to bed.
Perhaps the season wouldn’t seem like such a marathon if there weren’t so many other things to wrap up, too. Work projects to wrap up before the Christmas holidays. School work to turn in before Winter Break. One last drop at the Goodwill or Salvation Army store. One last deposit to your retirement account. Housecleaning to wrap up to before family arrives. Sigh…
I hate to add one more thing to your list of things to wrap up, but I do. And while it is an important thing, at least it’s blessedly brief. If you haven’t already, we need you to wrap up your Estimate of Giving for 2015. Our giving discernment period came to an official close on St. Nicholas Sunday our giving discernment came to an official close with our annual Ingathering and Blessing of Giving Estimates. Soon your Vestry will have to finalize a 2015 budget for the mission and ministry of the parish. To do so they need to hear from every household in the parish about their intentions for giving in the coming year. You can do so at church this Sunday or online by clicking here, and save your vestry person a follow-up call.
Of course, if you’ve already crossed it off your wrapping-up list, just breath a sigh of relief and accept our thanks! And know that it’s not amount that counts but intention and communication. Our offerings back to God come not only from our pocketbooks, but also take the form of the gift of our time, our talent, and our prayers. And we desire your prayers most of all.
Finally, whatever you do in this run-up to Christmas, and whenever you do it, make sure you take the time to care for yourself and to appreciate the ones you love. Remember,your presence is more important than your presents: to your family, your friends, your church family, and God.
In Christ’s love,
Rector, St. Nicholas Church