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The king of Siam used to give political enemies rare albino elephants as gifts. It was a gift that came with great honor - but also with great pain, because it ultimately led to the ruin of the recipient. Apparently, it's very expensive to care for a rare albino elephant. Who knew? (The king of Siam, I suppose.)

Christmastime is sometimes like a white elephant gift: it's wrapped in all kinds of honor and specialness - but it is, for many, ultimately crushing. Many, many people carry hurt, regret, and loss that is made extra heavy by the rarity of the holiday. It's a wonderful thing in the abstract, but the cost is ultimately too high for people to handle.

If you're a Christian, this white elephant that the devil has wrapped in Christmas lights and tinsel is an opportunity. The costs that come with the hurt, regret, and losses of Christmas are mean there is room for a lot of extra investment - things like time, effort, compassion, and commitment. The Christian wheelhouse.  

Since an unending spring of time, effort, compassion, and commitment were given to you by God in the birth Jesus, you can invest those resources into those who find themselves overburdened this Christmas. 

The alternative, of course, is to keep those gifts to yourself, feigning ignorance and convincing yourself you're happy that you aren't burdened with a white elephant. Just don't forget that the reason you don't have one is that Jesus adopted it from you - and spent everything he had caring for it. 

Galatians 6:2-3 | Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

- Pastor Kent Reeder