Pastor Marlon Saunders: The gift that continues to give

Pastor Saunders, Valencia Christian Center. Courtesy photo

I would dare to say that the Christmas season sits in a category all by itself. For one, it is the only holiday that extends beyond a “day” and has the honor of being a “season.” As Christmas Day approaches, we hear about the “season of sharing” or the “season of giving.” Thanksgiving is the only other holiday that may come close to getting its own season. However, nothing compares to Christmas.

Christmas brings an atmosphere and attitude that no other holiday brings. There is a new level of hope, joy and excitement that comes with Christmas. There is a certain amount of fun that comes with Christmas. I mean, when you think about the Christmas lights, Christmas music, Christmas decorations, Christmas movies, and Christmas parties, you have to admit that Christmas sits in a category all by itself.

What about the Christmas shopping? Christmas sales? Christmas crowds? Yes, I dare say, Christmas definitely sits alone. Perhaps the biggest Christmas activity is the exchanging of Christmas gifts. In general, everyone loves a good gift. But there just seems to be something a little more special about a Christmas gift. The wrapping is different. The presentation is different. The entire vibe of the gift giving is different. I love it!

The million dollar question every year becomes, “what should I get?” when it comes to giving gifts to those we truly care about. We all want to give a gift that the recipient can appreciate, a gift that will last. A gift that says, “I appreciate you.”

We walk the malls and we search online. We survey everything from jewelry to flavored jellies. The only issue with whatever we give is that the gift ages. Most times, the gift depreciates with time. Sometimes, the gift is the hottest thing in the moment and seemingly obsolete the next morning. Remember Laser Disks? The DVD took care of that in record time. So the question becomes “what can I give that will hold its use and value the longest?” As I have considered everything from phones to drones, I have concluded that there is only one gift that not only holds its value, but increases in value by continuing to give on its own every single day.

I know you are saying “what, how much, and where?” The coolest thing about this gift is that it is free and you already have it. Go figure! There is a gift that you already have, that only increases in value and continues to give every single day. You are probably thinking, “What in the world are you talking about?” Ha! It’s simple. I am talking about the gift of love. There is no gift more powerful, more influential, more motivating, more comforting, more encouraging, more valuable, and most of all, more effective, than the gift of love. Jewelry is awesome, but love heals. Phones are super cool, but love is super transforming. Cars are super fast, but love is what truly lasts. Love will do for your children what a phone could not. Love will do for your spouse what jewelry could not. Love will do for your friends, what a gift card could not.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying do not get a physical gift. Do not try to blame me for being lazy or cheap. Get the gift! Do not get put on the couch trying to be deep and philosophical. What I am saying is, as you give this season, do not forget to connect it to the gift that overrides everything, the gift of love.

As you go throughout this Christmas season, remember the most effective and most important gift you can give, is love. It brings out the best in those who receive it. So go get the phone, but do not ever forget none of it means anything if you do not have and give love. Giving anything without giving love is like giving a phone without service or power. It ultimately amounts to nothing. The greatest gift, by far, will always be the gift of love! Let us love each other like never before and watch the power of love prove to be the gift that continues to give.

Pastor Marlon Saunders
Valencia Christian Center


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