It would be so easy to have a bad attitude at the best time of the year. Let’s face it 2009 has been difficult in more ways than one could ever imagine. Now that we have reached what many call the Holiday Season, (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa) this should be a time celebration joy and excitement shared with family friends and loved ones. But something tells me many people will sense the stress rather than kick start the celebration.

Christmas really is the time for giving. It is when God gave his one and only son to the world. His gift was the best gift you could have ever imagined. Christ, the bridge to restore the relationship between God and man. Christ, the savior of the world. (John 3:16-17) Christ, the perfect example, Christ, the teacher. Christ, the giver of life and good gifts. The best gift ever!

If then this is the season we live in then the goal would be to give the best gift ever. Not to stress out over the lack of money or the lost of a job. Not to give in because of difficult times or the pain of a love one no longer her. Not to throw in the towel because of war overseas or poverty here at home. Not to become discouraged because of endless conflict or troubled relationships. Not discounting any of these big ticket items. However, we must some how summons strength, gather courage, collect our faith and declare with all our being; Christmas is the time for-giving!

It’s the time to forgive all who have ever hurt you wounded you or offended you. It’s the time to say ‘they owe you nothing. They are free from their debt.’ Not because they deserve it but because you deserve it! It is time for you to release others and move on. It is time to give grace because you have received grace. “Freely you have received, freely shall you give.”
(Matthew 10:8b)

It is the time to give the best gift ever. This gift has nothing to do with money. Money can’t buy this gift. It is not found in the fancy stores. Macy’s nor Neman and Marcus will not have this. You will not find this on any bargain rack. Wal-mart, Big Lots, K-Mart, or even the Dollar Tree won’t carry this. You can shop till you drop on the inter-net and you will not find this gift. The best gift you could ever give is yourself! Give yourself to your family! Give yourself to your friends! Give yourself to God! When you give yourself nothing else really matters. All the stress goes away. All the tension is removed. You live in a space of being, realizing that God will take care of you. Give yourself!

Christmas is a time for-giving. Once you have forgiven others and given yourself to family and friends, the world will be a better place. Enjoy this Christmas not by spending money or buy running form party to party, but by giving grace to others and giving yourself to loved ones. May the good Lord give you the best Christmas ever!


Bishop Sherwood Carthen is the author of Amen All by Myself: Discovering God in Life’s Wilderness. Amen Al by Myself tells the story of Sherwood’s wilderness experience and shares life-changing lessons that can only be learned in the wilderness. You can purchase your copy at .

If you would like to visit Bishop Carthen’s church, Bayside of South Sacramento, they meet on Saturdays at 6 pm. and Sundays at 9:30 am and 11:15 am. at Sacramento City College. To find out more, visit .

Contribution Writer, Bishop Sherwood Carthen of BOSS-Bayside of South Sacramento


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