That every household within the influence of our congregation is introduced to Jesus Christ, where lives are transformed by Him into fully devoted followers - based on Romans 12:1-2
First Church of Christ exists to produce fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ
- based on Matthew 28:18-20
From the Minister's Desk
The Christmas Gift
"It's the most wonderful time of the year . . ." This is just one line from the many different songs written concerning the Christmas season; songs of joy, cheer, family, food, wood fires and yes, gifts. Packages of gifts will be wrapped in gold, red, green or other assorted colors to be given to that special loved one on that special day which is just around the corner. These gifts reconfirm our love, they bring joy to others and make for lasting memories of Christmas past for the future.
When my children were home we were always blessed to have something for them under our Christmas tree and very early on Christmas morning they would jump in our bed, wake my wife and I and pull us to the tree to open all the pretty packages that had been piling up for a couple of weeks. By 7 A.M. that same morning the evidence of all the time and work preparing for Christmas was piled in the middle of the floor; ripped wrapping paper, crushed bows, empty boxes and torn name tags. The busy-ness of the season was nearly over; just two or three more homes to visit for the day with a meal offered each time. By the end of the day, we were tired, full and ready to settle back to watch a Christmas television special while the kids (and Dad) played with the gifts they had received. It is the most wondeful time of the year!
There is one thing that we would be sure to remind our children of every Christmas season and that is of the greatest Christmas gift ever given. This gift was not found under a tree, wrapped in magical paper with a name tag meant for one but of a babe in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes with a name meant for all, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and redeemer of mankind. He is the reason for the season and without Him, our Christmas celebrations would mean nothing. Christmas would not offer to us the lasting joyous memories it gives without this greatest gift from the Creator.
This Christmas season take the time with your loved ones and look to His Word, share His birth story with family, friends and neighbors telling them the good news of the greatest Christmas gift ever given. By doing so you will build upon the good, lasting and joyous memories which this season should hold for everyone.
Read His story once again;
"2 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them" (NASB, Luke 2: 1-20).
The babe in the manger is our gift but we must remember that He is no longer a babe but a Savior who sits at the right hand of the Father giving salvation to all who 'has an ear to hear' and heart's which are faithful and true. Remember Him this Christmas season and be blessed. From my family to yours; may you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
There is always a place for you. Keep looking up because He cares for YOU!
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