Pastor’s Pen: The Gift of Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner so I should start shopping, especially as most of my family live overseas, so I need to get it posted very soon! I love making gifts too and thinking through just what would bless that person. I have to be honest and say I love getting gifts too! And gifts are a real focus of Christmas, buying, wrapping, giving and receiving. Sometimes gift giving creates stress, because we feel an expectation to provide more than we can afford and for some people, the aftermath of Christmas is spent trying to balance their credit bills!

I think we focus so much on physical gifts, we neglect all the other kinds of gifts we can give this Christmas. In fact, why not be the gift to your family this year? Instead of forking out on expensive toys that will eventually sit on a shelf why not give the gift of an experience or adventure so that time is spent with your family instead of money spent on them.

Instead of buying your child a toy lion, why not take them to the zoo to see a real one? What about Piano/drum/guitar lessons? Swimming lessons? Or why not give your child/partner a gift voucher of things they can redeem from you [a trip to the skate park, a walk up a mountain at sunbreak followed by a picnic breakfast, dinner made for a week! You get the idea!

This reminds me of that very first Christmas gift. It wasn’t ordered on eBay and didn’t come wrapped with a bow. The gift of Jesus entered this world humbly into a dirty stable and yet the gift He brings is the gift that keeps on giving. In fact, it is a gift that can be re-gifted! Romans 6:23 says “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. The only cost for this gift is faith, faith in who Jesus is [God] and what He did [died and came alive again] and what He offers us [forgiveness from sins]. And as if that wasn’t enough, Jesus Christ offers us gifts in this life too:

The gift of Love: John 15:9-17 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”

The gift of Joy: John 15:11 “I have spoken these things to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full”

The gift of Peace: John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.”

So why not shake Christmas up a little this year and change the way you give gifts? Why not accept the gifts that Jesus offers you? Why not share the greatest gift you’ve ever been given….the gift of eternal life…Jesus…the first and only true gift of Christmas?

 

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