| Dec 17, 2009


Back to HomeChristmas Edition - December 17, 2009Christmas 2009

Art Contest

A Christmas Messageby Debbie Pelley-Hudson

Christmas Traditions in Ireland

Country Christmasby Kelly Calthorpe

Early Literacy: Opening More than Presents

Local Music to Stuff Your Stockings with

Recipes

The Brightest Star

The Christmas Quiltby Kelly Calthorpe

The Christmas Giftby Pastor Ken Walton

The Christmas Giftby Pastor Ken Walton, Parham Free Methodist Church

Is Christmas all about gifts ... gift giving ... gift getting? As Christians, we try not to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas. We try to teach our children that it’s not all about getting that new electronic gadget, etc.

But in one way, Christmas is all about gifts. It’s about God’s gifts to us. His gift of Salvation, forgiveness and cleansing of sins. The gift of joy in the present, the hope of wonderful, eternal life in the future.

All these gifts, and more, are wrapped up in that one little baby that we sing about at Christmas time. All these gifts wrapped up in this one gift, in the person of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us.

But why does God offer this gift to us? What would make Almighty God decide to come to earth in our form – be born in cold, stark surroundings and live among his creation?

Injunction _served

What makes any of us give gifts? True gifts are given out of love, or at least liking.

God also gives the greatest gift of all, Himself, because of His perfect love. God’s love for us is intense, passionate, and totally without conditions.

Perfect love, no conditions? It sounds too good to be true. We live in a world filled with conditions. “If you do this for me, I’ll do that for you.” “I’ll pay you this if you provide that service.” “I’ll love you if ...” We understand this business of conditions because we see it functioning all the time.

God operates differently and demonstrates this by freely giving his son to us – no strings attached – we are perfectly loved – period.

It’s as the Apostle Paul writes: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution of famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life ,... nor any powers, ... nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:35,37-39)

What overwhelming, incredible love, for you, for me!

When you are presented with a gift you don’t have to accept it. You can refuse it! You can leave that gift under the tree. I doubt any of us will refuse gifts offered to us on Christmas day - except perhaps the most valuable Gift of all. Many people, maybe even you, continue to refuse the gift of Salvation ... of God’s love ... of Jesus Christ.

Life is busy and it is so easy to become distracted and lose sight of what is really important ... of what Christmas is all about.

The true meaning of Christmas lies in a stable surrounded by animals and straw, here in this humble setting, not under a glittering Christmas tree. All we could ever hope for or imagine, He is. All the wisdom, power and virtue of God is contained in this baby.

And so we are invited to gather around the manger and witness once again this perfect love that has entered the world to save us.

Once again we have the opportunity of accepting this gift into our hearts and minds.

Please do so this Christmas.

I bring you good news of great joy ... a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11)

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