When we think of Christmas we often associate it with the theme of giving. Our culture bombards us with the idea of spending more and buying more so that we can give more gifts. No doubt, Christmas gifts are fun to give. I am the first to admit my temptation to over-buy. But real gifts are intangible.
Yesterday was a wonderful example. After a very busy afternoon of running around doing errands, I came home, put the groceries away and started preparing dinner. While dinner was in the oven, I sat down to pen this Christmas letter to you. I hadn’t gotten very far when the phone rang.
“Hello, is there a Mona Scrivens there?”
“Were you out today, maybe at the grocery store?”
“Uhm, yes”, my mind was whirling... did I win something? Was it a trip? A lifetime supply of toilet paper? Maybe more Airmiles? “yes, yes, I was”.
“Are you, like... missing anything?” the young voice asked
“Oh no... did I leave my bank card there?”
It turns out my wallet had fallen out of my coat pocket and someone found it in the parking lot and returned it to the store. Everything was in the wallet. I had just gone to the bank so there was more cash in there than there ever normally is. But that’s not all, all my credit cards and identification were in there. And when I picked it up from my neighborhood Metro everything was in there. Everything.
“It’s a Christmas miracle”. I said to the young sales girl.
“I know, right?” she replied.
As we all know, this story could have gone very differently. This stranger, who returned my wallet, gave me a gift and I am incredibly grateful to the giver.
At Christmas we are reminded that the ultimate giver is God himself who gave His only Son to free us from sin and give us the gift of eternal life (John 3:16). This Advent and Christmas season we have been refocusing not only on the ultimate giver but the greatest gift given.... Jesus. As Jesus gave himself, we in turn are called to give ourselves to him and, through him, to each other and to the world itself. This message is a challenging one but it is also a very hopeful one.
This is the real meaning of giving at Christmas.
Every Sunday in Advent, we light a candle representing the gifts of Hope, Joy, Peace and Love; these are the gifts Christ gives to the world.
Please join us as we prepare our hearts for Jesus Christ’s arrival.
This Sunday we will continue to focus on Advent ...the anticipation and longing for the babe in the manger. Come and join us later that evening at 7p.m. for a good old fashion Carol Sing and Christmas goodies. Then on Sunday December 22 the children will bring to us the Christmas pageant. You won't want to miss the Christmas story come alive!
On Christmas Eve, December 24th join us for two special services:
6 p.m. - Family Service. Come and experience Christmas through the eyes of a child. This is a special service for families with young children but all ages are welcome.
7:30 pm - Tradition “Candlelight” Service.
I hope that the music and stories of Christmas will warm your hearts and ignite your faith during this Advent/Christmas season.
May the Light of Christ guide your path.
May the Holy Spirit bring Joy to your hearts.
May God bless all your relationships with love.