Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 NIV
Shortly after Thanksgiving, the radio stations begin playing Christmas songs. Of course, we all have our favorite songs and artists, "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby, "Frosty the Snowman" by Burl Ives, and more. They invoke a sense of nostalgia and simpler times with family and friends now gone. Several years ago, the group Alabama released a song called "The Christmas Shoes," which captures the kindness and compassion associated with the season. If you haven't heard it before, I won't ruin it by giving the story away but let you listen to it yourself -- have a box of tissues handy.
While I love the song, its message is something we should live out daily, not just a yearly reminder. To live in Christ is to show kindness, compassion, and, yes, forgiveness to those we encounter every day. It should become so instinctual that it is not second nature but first. We do this for others because Christ does this for us purely from love.
God, thank you for your kindness, compassion, and forgiveness. Please help us demonstrate this same love to others just not once a year or occasionally, but always. May all people come to experience your love through our words and actions. Father, we admit we do not do this consistently. Please forgive us and help us as we strive to do better. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.