So as Christmas quickly approaches, do you have your gift lists finished (both what you want to get and to give)? As you glance at those lists, are you stressed out, wondering if you have asked for what you really want and also wondering if you’ll ever have the time and money to purchase everything on your “give” list?
There is no doubt that our culture continues to emphasize this frenzy of getting and giving during this season. When the Christmas ads begin on November 1st, it’s hard to argue that! While there is certainly nothing wrong with being generous this time of year, it is easy for the whole “gifting” thing to become all-consuming at the expense of what the season should really be all about.
Did you know that according to the scriptures that we read during Advent it is clear that God has a very different kind of gift list of things to give to us? That as we read the words of the prophets and others who were predicting the coming of the Messiah into the world we hear of gifts that we probably wouldn’t think of including on our lists? Do you have things like “hope” and “patience” and “peace” and “light” on any of your lists this year? During the Sundays of Advent, those are the gifts of God that we will be focusing on that are promised in the scriptures that we will read. And then on Christmas Eve we will celebrate the greatest gift of all that God has given us—the Christ Child himself. Throughout the Advent season, we will also be celebrating the reality that unlike those material gifts we will receive this year, the items of God’s list last forever. In other words, they are gifts we get to open and then share every day of our lives!
I hope you will join us in worship during
December to hear more about these promised gifts. When you do, my guess is that you may begin to look at your own “get” and “give” lists a little