Dear Friends in Christ -

posted Dec 15, 2014, 4:54 PM by Shannon Vietmeier
Some years ago before the financial slowdown of 2008, the above opinion cartoon appeared in my home newspaper the week after Black Friday. Just like Bethlehem's packed streets (thanks to Caesar Augustus' decree), we always will find ways to crowd out the Christ child. Then, over the weekend, a friend of mine posted on Facebook this weekend that her family had gone to look at Christmas lights. At one home, the nativity was set up lovingly, radiant, and adoring the Christ Child. And just outside the stable, Santa & Mrs. Claus were also looking in on the scene. Her family decided that it just looked odd. But I commented saying, "Wouldn't it be nice if they, too, would yield to the Christ Child?!" 

Last week, one of my Bible professors shared a wonderful article about the word "gift." In the article it noted that gift should never be a verb - in place of "giving" - it is ONLY a noun. We don't say, "What can I gift you for your birthday?"  Instead, at the heart of the matter, we give and are given to, but we never gift. You can only receive a gift!  And so it is at Christmas! Christmas is the festival (and season - yes it's not just one day) where we receive the gift of Jesus Christ given to us by our loving and heavenly Father.
Beholding the Gift with You!
Pastor Culynn

To prepare for worship this Sunday
(Dec 21), you are invited to read:
     2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
     Romans 16:25-27
     Luke 1:26-38