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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Reason for the Season of Christmas (12/04/08)

TITLE: Free, But Not Cheap
By Margaret Gass


The headline should have been bigger…
It should have caused quite a stir--
Yet the shock of it all was lost in the blur
Between endless political campaigning
And mass media hype:
“Worker Trampled to Death”
It read in bold type
Designed to catch the eye--
A “mark of shame” for Black Friday it said,
But no one really asked “Why?”--
Why for just a few dollars saved,
A young man had to die.

It seems to me we’ve lost all sense
Of what matters, and what does not--
Not too surprising, considering
That’s Thanksgiving’s just a blot
On the calendar, no longer the time of year
When we as a nation pause to ponder
The Hand that brought us here.
We no longer stop to say, “Thank you”--
We carve the turkey and pass the beer
As we stop to think on “important” things
Like who wins the bowl games this year.

I’m not picking on football,
In fact, I enjoy the game…
I just wish that “Thanksgiving”
Was more than just a day’s name.
I wish it were more
Than the day before
The biggest shopping day of the year--
If it were, then maybe, just maybe,
We’d have good reason to cheer.

For Christmas isn’t about the sales,
No matter what the ads may say.
Christmas is about our God,
Who lovingly paved the way.
He left His home in Heaven
To show His love on earth--
The way to our redemption
Began with His humble birth.

It’s not just a season to be jolly
It’s not about mistletoe, wassail, or holly.
‘T is a season to think about Him,
To take time, to make time--
Perhaps sing a hymn--
He should be what we’re looking for
Instead of crushing men as we charge a door
To get the best deal on a present or two--
Surely we know the best gifts are free…
Jesus gave His life
For you, for me.
A free gift, but not cheap--
We were bought with a price.
And those He has purchased
Are His to keep--
Are our actions those which make Him weep?

If we get up before dark to get the best deal,
Do we rise early each morning
And tell Him all we think and feel,
Do we do what it takes to keep our faith real?
Or do we toss Him aside, and miss the gift
That once thrilled our souls,
And gave our hearts a lift?

If Jesus is the reason for a season of giving,
Shouldn’t His love show in how we are living?
Salvation was free, but it was not cheap--
He paid the cost for all--
With grace and mercy He gave the gift
That saved us from the Fall.
If Jesus is the reason that we say we live,
Shouldn’t He be the gift that we give?
What a headline that would be,
“God Gives Forgiveness, Life eternally!”
The Gospel’s not what most want to hear,
Even at this time of year,
But it‘s the message we proclaim...
For Christ gave more for Christmas
Than a day off and His name--
He freely gave Himself,
But the cost was steep
And that’s one gift at Christmas
That we must choose to keep.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joy Bach 12/11/08
What a wonderful sermon in a poem! I was with you all the way.
Connie Dixon12/12/08
This was truly an amazing entry. Loved the poetic feel to ponder what's real. You really captured the meaning of the "reason." Good job!
Karlene Jacobsen12/16/08
It's enjoyable to read something so encouraging to my heart.