It is the time of the year for holiday messages. In the spirit take care of the world that we live in, I am a fan of email based cards and messages. I find that the content is as important as the medium, especially when there is distance between the parties.
I will confess that I do not always have the patience to listen to a musical e-card. In fairness, I do not always listen through the jingle when it plays from a paper card either. My focus is on what the individual has to say. What happened in the past year? Where are things now? Are they sharing anything from the heart?
The last question tends to separate the messages in my inbox. Many of the messages I receive are standardized emails that have been cut and pasted from a template. I am not sure if the sender actually knows that s/he hit the send button. I struggle to find anything that is personal in the email’s content. Maybe s/he knew, maybe s/he did not. On the surface, I strongly suspect that the only thing the sender knew is that Christmas messages went out to address that are on a distribution list.
The exceptions are increasingly special. Somewhere in the email note is a phrase or paragraph that reminds me that the sender took the time to think of me and make it personal. When this happens, I find myself stopping and reflecting on the things that bind us together. I remember our conversations. I relive the times we were together. It becomes a walk down memory lane.
In a few messages, the sender states the obvious. I already know they cared enough to make message personal. On top of this, they take the step of saying the obvious. Even though the message is clear between the lines, it feels good to hear it; “I love all of you in the Messiah, in Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 16.24) May you know the blessings of Christmas, the Advent peace, and the hope of the New Year.