“I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” – Luke 2:10-11
How many of us have received a Christmas gift, that didn’t even last through Christmas Day? You get the new iPhone and drop it on the pavement, or your new sweater turns out to be the wrong size or has a tear in it. We know material gifts aren’t permanent, they wear out or break.
Bishop Kenneth Shambllin shares a story about his 5 year old son, who more than anything wanted a red toy truck for Christmas. He talked about it constantly, pointed the truck out every time they were in the store. He wrote to Santa, and told the mall Santa how much he wanted that red truck for Christmas. He even prayed about it. Sure enough Christmas morning it was under the tree. The little boy was overjoyed! He received many other presents but hardly noticed. All his attention was riveted on that bright, shiny red truck that he had dreamed about receiving. He played with it all morning. Shortly after Christmas dinner, the bishop heard his son crying. When he saw his son, he held the red toy truck in one hand and the wheels in his other hand. The little boy said, “Daddy my Christmas is broken already!” (adapted from Christmas Gifts That Won’t Break, by James Moore.)
This Christmas let’s receive and give gifts that are unbreakable. For God has given us the gift of His one and only Son, who was born, lived, died and rose again, in order that we might receive gifts that are eternal, gifts that won’t break. Let’s reclaim the Biblical gifts of Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love this Christmas! These are gifts that can be a reality in our lives because they are grounded in God’s amazing gift to us…the gift of our Savior Jesus Christ. These are gifts we can also share with others this Christmas. These unbreakable gifts are possible even when our circumstances do not yield a picture perfect Christmas. Each week during the Advent season, we will explore how we can reclaim one of these Advent Gifts during our worship service.
Let me also remind you to participate in the Advent Conspiracy that we introduced a few years ago during Advent. Make a commitment to worship fully, spend less on ourselves and those not in need, give more of our Presence and to those who are in need, and love all during this Advent/ Christmas Season. Remember Christmas can still change the world, when we remember Christmas is about God entering our world to make things right! Advent and Christmas starts and ends with Jesus. So come and worship with us this advent, and find out how we can reclaim the gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love, because Jesus is the center of our celebration!
Hope, Peace, Joy and Love!