What an amazing gift we received with the birth of Jesus, God’s Word made flesh! At the time of his birth, the people did not expect God to come in the form of a child. They wanted a mighty king who would mount up armies and defeat their enemies. They didn’t just want release from oppressive government, they wanted dominion over their neighbors, the foreigners. Instead they got a child, who would become teacher, healer, prophet, and savior – the Prince of Peace. This king taught forgiveness and the inclusion of all people as God’s children. The kingdom he came to establish would not be defined by worldly boundaries, but reach to the heaven for an eternity. Yes, it is an amazing gift to all creation.
We too have a place in the celebration of the gift of Christmas. We must be the ones who share and live what Jesus brought to us. We must live as the people of grace, to pray and work for healing and empowerment of those who struggle, not just with physical or emotional ills, but spiritual as well. In this gift, we are given the opportunity to offer a place of sanctuary from the stresses of this world. Our place of sanctuary is one where we gather as a community to worship, share in fellowship and see ourselves as a family of faith. I guess you could say we should be celebrating Christmas all year.
I would like to ask you to make three kinds of offerings this Christmas. One kind is a special offering to support the ministry of the church with a Christmas gift. Second, I ask you to be in prayer, asking God to raise your awareness throughout the new year of opportunities to share the gifts in grace, healing, love, fellowship, and caring. Third, challenge yourself to share the gift of this ministry, our church, with at least one other person or family.
May the Lord bless you in your Christmas celebration with the joy of peace this season. I wish God’s peace to fill your home.
Rev. Bruce Arbour