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
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.
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
All rights reserved
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!