Sometime around the end of November each year, we close the church year and begin another. The four-week season of Advent is the beginning of the Christian year. Advent is a season of anticipation looking forward to the celebration of Christmas. Our church usually marks this season with dark, somber hymns and messages of spiritual preparation.
The birth of Jesus Christ is the single most important event humankind recognizes. It was so highly regarded that time is now measured from that event. Though now we use the same dating structure, but us the phrase “the common era,” we originally marked dates as “before Christ” (B.C.) and “Anno Domini” (A.D., “the year of our Lord”). No other event in history is treated so significantly.
The story of the man who changed time begins with a child, conceived in a very unusual way, and born to a peasant girl mother who delivered her baby in a stable. This rude beginning was established by God as a new beginning for humankind. Jesus brought God’s entire being to us in human form. He was entrusted to bring us the wisdom of God, to reveal God in a completely different way. He was sent to be our path to salvation and eternal life, the long-promised Messiah. The greatest gift ever known.
When the Greens are hung in the church for Advent and our house is decorated for Christmas, I can’t help being in the Christmas spirit. The world just seems a little happier for a time.
As I considered what gifts I would give this year, I realized how much my world has changed in this year. The medical issues I encountered this year has made me think about gift-giving in a different way. I now realize I have to give myself all over again. Let me share my gift giving list.
I intend to give myself to God all over again. God has given me salvation, and the blessings of family, friends and two good churches. God deserves my absolute best in return. My life is happy because of the things God has done for me. Count your blessings and consider each one to be another reason to love God a little more.
I would give my family more love and consideration than ever before. I have a wife, son, daughter, daughter-in-law and the greatest grandchild on the entire earth, each of whom are truly gifts from God. I encourage you to find new reasons to rejoice in your families, as well.
This year I want to give my churches a pastor who is more passionate about his faith and his work as a servant leader. Faith and Geyer Springs are wonderful churches with rich histories, great people and unlimited futures. I hope to find new ways to bring the Word to you and to help you share your spirit with others. Look to find new ways to show your love for your neighbor.
You can give these gifts, too. Remember to give each gift with a prayer. These gifts aren’t expensive, but they are beyond value. No worry about sizes, each is a perfect fit.
Christmas is about the gift of love. God’s love for us. Our love for God. The mutual love of families and friends. Just love.