The Gift

The Gift and our Response
Let the celebrations begin! The Christmas season is upon us and with it comes the opportunity to mark the birth of Jesus into our world. I don’t know about you, but every time I think about that event and what God made possible through the gift of his Son it both encourages and challenges me.

The encouraging part of the gift is pretty obvious. The fact is that the God of the universe came to earth because of his love for you. Jesus considered the value of your soul great enough that he would trade the comfort of heaven for a straw-filled manger bed. If that isn’t an encouragement to you, you’re just not paying attention.

It’s the challenging part – our response to this gift – that sometimes gets lost in the mix of all things Christmas. I know, I know, there are trees to be decorated, presents to be wrapped and meals to be prepared. How much more can God possibly expect from us at such a busy time of the year?

May I suggest that while God wants us to enjoy celebrating this great gift to us, it matters more to him how we respond to that gift.

First, I hope you respond by accepting the gift of grace that Jesus brought into the world. After all, Jesus didn’t come so that we could look back fondly and think of him as a sweet baby lying in a manger. He didn’t come so that we could read the Bible and appreciate the moral teaching and social revolution he brought into his time on earth. Jesus came to live and to die so that the forgiveness of God the Father could be made available to us. Jesus went to the cross for our sin and shame so that we could have a clean heart and a fresh start before God.

Second, once you have accepted this gift I hope you respond by sharing it with others. You can do this in a number of ways: Invite someone to come with to an in-person service. You might also share the link to our online Christmas Eve service. Friends, Christmas is an easy time to invite someone. It’s a time when people are open to hearing about Jesus Christ and the peace that he brings in times of chaos.

Be encouraged - God loves you! Be challenged - the gift of Jesus is yours to share with others!

Candi Thorpe
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