From The Pastor's Desk
Pastor Mike's Memo - God's Greatest Gift - Jesus
God's Greatest Gift - Jesus
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down for the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth... James 1:17-18a
Through the years I have received many gifts of various kinds. Some of those gifts were material things made of the elements of this earth. I get to enjoy them as part of my life. Some of the gifts were financial, helping to meet daily needs. A few of those I still have too.
Some of the gifts, however, could not be wrapped up in a box with a bow. Neither could they be placed in a bank or used to pay a bill. They are the cherished gifts from my relationships through the years. The gifts do not have glittery or shiny names but they are precious none the less. They come from a lifetime of relationships, from family, church members, neighbors, friends, even strangers and enemies. Those gifts are not bound by time or geography and can be opened every day, over and over again.
The names of those gifts will be familiar to many of you. They include: love, acceptance, for-giveness, encouragement, truth, conviction, vision, companionship, sacrifice, generosity, friendship, example, partnership, grace, time, understanding, work ethic, challenge, mercy, happiness, praise, correction, joy, discipline, compassion, peace, salvation, failure and hope. The list could go on and on.
Please note that not all the gifts have positive names, but each and every one is priceless, adding to who I am, building my character and values, strength, courage and witness. They are an ever present repository and resource that can be accessed through the memories triggered by the celebrations, trials and troubles that come my way.
These unboxed gifts are not selfish in any way. In fact, they beg to be given away to someone else so they can become their gift for a lifetime too. None of these gifts are mine to keep, especially the gift of salvation made possible by the love and sacrifice of Jesus for the sins of this world. Jesus is the greatest gift, for he epitomizes and personalizes, love, joy, peace and hope for all who will believe in Him. In Christ we can experience a Heavenly Father present with us and the Holy Spirit in us. Nothing can separate us from His love. That makes His gift eternal.
Wrapping up a gift in a box and giving it to a person can be rewarding, like we have done with Operation Christmas Child. I am glad Newington has given generously. I encourage you this year to look also for ways to give those unboxed lifetime gifts that are part of relationships, and can be used to genuinely and lovingly to share the greatest gift, Jesus.
Luke 2:11 Today in the town of David as Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.