From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 4th Sunday of Advent

Hi everyone,

I trust most of you are pretty much done your Christmas shopping by now.  If not, that is ok as you have a whole week to not shop either.  I always have a hard time trying to find the perfect (or at least good enough) gift for people, and I seem to always end up with just a gift card (you know that gift that keeps on giving until you use up the balance then it’s just a piece of plastic with a magnetic stripe).

You know what I mean, right (about buying gifts, not about gift cards that I just explained)?  To be thoughtful, finding a meaningful gift, getting something that is special and useful and can really display your affection in a way that is lasting… all that is really hard.  Even giving the gift could sometimes be hard.  The wrapping, packaging, and delivery or presentation of it could almost make or break the whole thing.  If only there were a gift that really would keep on giving (even after the balance has run out).

Well, gift cards it is then.

Here are the readings for next week:
Micah 5:2-5a
Luke 1:46b-55
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-45

Often we say that at Christmas, our gift from God is Christ.  And what a gift we say.  Talk about your gift that keeps on giving.  Even 2000 years after the events of Jesus’ life, we are still talking about it, learning from it, and singing songs about it.  That sounds like the perfect gift, doesn’t it?  Too bad we can’t give a Messiah to our loved ones every Christmas.

But the presentation of the gift?  Well… that leaves something to be desired.  While none of us actually know what Jesus looked like, we can imagine from his background, the time and area that he lived, and the culture of the day that he wasn’t super well kept.  And those bringing Jesus?  We have humble, uneducated, maybe a little crazy John the baptizer and also the poor, young, carrying an illegitimate child Mary.

Even in a poor presentation we have the greatest gift of all.  Even in the messy, dirty, and maybe a little crazy we have the gift that gives life.  Even in the very unassuming, perhaps unwanted, and certainly underaged we have the gift that never stops giving, being, and loving.  Even in this life of difficult ups and downs, forwards and backwards, lefts and rights we receive a gracious gift that cannot be used up but continues to flow abundantly throughout all things.

As we move closer and closer to Christmas, may we be the gift of community, relationship, and joy to our loved ones, as we bask in the love and grace of Jesus our Saviour.

Have a great week everyone!

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