Christmas Eve – 12th Gift – Love

12th Gift of Christmas – The Love of God

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

We often think of the baby in the manger as the giving of God’s ultimate gift. But looking more deeply into the story we see that yes it was at Bethlehem that God’s gift came, but it was not until the cross that His gift was given. God’s gift of love became ours as the blood poured from the wound in Jesus’ side. Why not make Christmas the start of a new life’s journey that will last forever? He has given you these twelve gifts and so much more. Christmas is the perfect time to give your life to Him!

Here is my poem for you as my gift and the Mullett girls singing on a fresh new video about the Glorious Night Jesus was born! Merry Christmas all!

 12 Gifts of Christmas

 The gift of being a neighbor
 Do I know my neighbor’s name?
 The gift of Kindness
 That puts prejudice to shame
 The gift of Prayer
 That calls help down from God
 The gift of Faith
 That believes when times are hard
 The gift of Hope
 That sees our Lord in all
 The gift of Joy
 That helps us when we fall
 The gift of Grace
 That washes away sin
 The gift of Rest
 That spends sweet time with Him
 The Living gift of Water
 That fills our thirty souls
 The gift of Mercy
 That answers law’s demands
 The gift of a Star
 That guides us through strange lands
 The gift of Love
 The greatest one of all
 And Jesus - gift of gifts In a manger low and small! 

12 Gifts of Christmas by Peter Caligiuri
Copyright 2017 All rights reserved

12 Gifts of Christmas / 9th Gift -Mercy

 But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:10

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy! Matthew 5:7 

As we’ve looked at gifts both given and received; no list could be complete without mercy. Grace sometimes gets bigger headlines in the Sunday sermons, but comparing the two as if one were greater misses the point. Mercy is God’s forgiveness by which we receive eternal life. Grace is God’s amazing delivery system that brings His gift to places we least expect and to the most unlikely people. (Like me!) I hope my little poem this morning will simply be a reminder that we are each given this day, so that we can pass God’s mercy on to others in a thousand little acts of grace.

 Mercy's Gifts

 It's a pint of blood needed
To someone we don’t know
 Or handful of tissues when their tears start to flow

 A quiet embrace when their world falls apart
And a light at the door when they come after dark

 It's that kiss of forgiveness when we still feel the hurt
 Or a check in the mail when they’ve been out of work

 Angel songs after midnight when we’re up watching sheep
 And a Babe in a manger On a night that's so deep! 

Mercy's Gifts by Peter Caligiuri
Copyright 2020
All rights reserved

Wrapping Gifts

But emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:7-8 ESV

One Christmas our youth group joined together to raise funds to purchase devotionals from Joni and Friends ministry as gifts for nursing home residents. One highlight was the hour we spent wrapping the books. Did you ever stop to wonder who came up with the idea of gift wrapping? Isn’t the gift itself what people really want?

I think it all comes down to presentation and that is something even God chose to do when he sent Jesus to the manger of Bethlehem. In a strange sort of way Jesus was God- gift wrapped! When we wrap gifts we do it to keep it a surprise. In that same way no one could see who Jesus was in his swaddling cloths in the manger. It took angels telling the shepherds to get an audience for His birth!

Another reason for wrapping is to say. “I prepared this just for you!” In that same way Jesus was sent, not only for the whole world, but also for each one of us individually. He gives Himself to each of us one by one. Some of us open presents on Christmas Eve and others Christmas morning but for all of us the gifts are wrapped and sitting under the tree because it makes us wait till the right time to open them. At just the exact right time Jesus came, the gift was presented and we by faith have been unwrapping the love God in Jesus Christ ever since.

I offer to you the Christmas song Mary I Have News that I wrote back in 2017. This gift first came to Mary who God chose the carry His gift in her womb and then share Him with the world (including us). Mary’s is an amazing story that we can still share in as God has also chosen us to carry Jesus within our hearts. Have a blessed week everybody!