Pastor’s Corner: Christmas Giving

A plate of mashed potatoes.

December 18, 2019

Some years ago my mother-in-law contributed mashed potatoes to a family Christmas meal for the first time. They were gently seasoned with garlic, so subtly that the precise flavor was hard to identify but so uniquely delicious that the first mouthful raised gasps around the table. Years later, it fell to me to make the dish, and I learned why she didn’t always make them that way. The recipe was intricate. It demanded attention. It required a lot of ingredients and a long cooking time.

Even though it’s one of my favorite preparations, I only make it for special occasions, and I pause and think hard before I do.

Christmas is filled with such things, isn’t it? Christmas tables are laden through hours of effort. We climb ladders and wrestle greenery for our Christmas decorations. We endure long lines at the stores to wrap presents and place them beneath the trees.

All of this activity is also a gift to those we love. The gifts themselves are usually far smaller than the work we did so we could present them.

As you extend your gifts to friends and family this season, I encourage you to do so conscious of how much of yourself you have given with that gift: how much time, how much energy, how much thought. The danger is that you make a martyr of yourself – “I did so much and now you don’t appreciate it!” – so try to frame your thoughts more like this: “You are someone I love, someone I love so much that this time and effort are yours.”

As you open your own presents, open your awareness to what your loved ones have done for you. Each one says, “I have given you these hours and this effort. Why? Because I love you.”

Even so the gift of Jesus, sleeping in his manger cradle of Bethlehem, is God whispering:

“I love you.”

Aloha to you this Christmas,

Pastor Eric

Photo by Renee Comet (photographer) – This image was released by the National Cancer Institute, an agency part of the National Institutes of Health, with the ID 2597 (image) (next)., Public Domain,

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: | Posted on December 18, 2019

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

Leave a Reply

close window

Service Times & Directions

Sunday School Classes

Sunday 8:45 am

Sunday Worship Service

Sunday 10:00 am

Adult Bible Study

Monday 6:30 pm, Wednesday 9:00 am

(International Young Adults Association)
Bible Study

Wednesday 7:30 pm

The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga

(The Rev. Tevita) Sunday 1:00 pm Wednesday 7:00 pm (Sanctuary)

The United Church of Christ, Pohnpei - Hilo

(The Rev. Ichiro) Sunday 10:00 am (Bdg. of Faith)

The Samoan Church

(The Rev. Sunia) Sunday 4:00 pm (Sanctuary)

440 W. Lanikaula Street
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 935-1283