I asked Leigh O’Dell, who is featured in this issue, to do a special piece on Christmas for our readers. She graciously agreed to do so. The following is her message and I believe we should all share it with our families and friends during this time of year.
What Are You Giving Jesus For Christmas This Year?
The Christmas season is a time of celebration – a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, to fellowship and enjoy family and friends, to give and receive gifts. As I prepare to celebrate Christmas, I love to think about what I will give each of my sixteen nieces and nephews. I think about what they would like, what would make them feel special, what they are interested in, and what I think they might need. I love trying to think of and find that “perfect” gift. After I have made my list, I then make preparations to get the gifts, wrap them, and make sure they are ready by Christmas Eve. It takes time and effort and going to malls (which I detest) and battling traffic (which is frustrating!), but I do it. Why? Because I love them! It is my pleasure because I love the recipient of the gift.
God loves us so much that He prepared the Perfect Gift for you and for me. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, that we might have the opportunity to be forgiven of our sins and to have the hope of heaven. What a gift! Matthew 2 tells the story of three kings or wise men that travelled a long distance to meet Jesus, the Christ Child. According to verse 11 when they entered the house where Jesus was living, “they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell to the ground and worshipped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” When they had a personal experience with the Living God, they bowed down in worship and gave Him gifts.
As I embark on the Christmas season this year, I want to follow the example of these three kings. I want to stop, step away from the busyness of life, and worship Jesus – worship Him in His glory, in His power and in His grace. I also want to follow their example of giving gifts to Jesus. As I spend time preparing gifts for my family, I want to prepare gifts for Jesus that I might express my love, adoration, and worship of Him. Have you considered what you might give Jesus for Christmas this year? Have you asked Him what He wants for His birthday? Have you made your list for Him? Here are a few “gift ideas” from His Word that you might consider:
This Christmas season let’s not get caught up in commercialism and activity. Instead, lets focus on the One whose birthday we celebrate. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) What are you giving Jesus for Christmas this year?
December 1, 2009
I wish for all of you and your families a blessed Christmas and a happy, prosperous and joyous new year. May 2010 bring peace for all people in this great land we all love. Our prayers for peace go out especially to our military personnel who find themselves in harm’s way during this very special time of year.
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