Pastor Justin Danielson, Parkview Christian Church
As Christmas is fast in approaching there can be both anxiousness and relief when trying to find THE Gift. Growing up there were certain gifts that every kid had to have, and the parents would do all they could to get them. Perhaps some of these gifts have been on your list throughout the years: Tickle Me Elmo, Cabbage Patch Kids, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Furby, Beanie Babies, Atari, Wii, Nintendo Switch, or any Apple product.
For me, THE Gift I had to have was circled multiple times with the top corner of the page bent down in the JCPenney catalog. It was a Hutch football outfit that included all the pads. Christmas morning came that year and all the gifts were unwrapped. There was a sad boy pouting in the corner. Why? Because, THE Gift of the Hutch football outfit had not been opened, and I was devastated! Then out of the corner of my eye I saw that my mom had one more gift that was tucked behind the tree…and drum roll…THE Gift was unwrapped to my amazement and great joy!
So, when I think of THE Greatest Gift ever given, it isn’t anything listed above. It was THE Gift of Jesus Christ! I want to unwrap some gifts with you as we think about the birth of Jesus.
Gift #1: The Gift of a Baby. I can’t begin to tell you the excitement when my wife and I had our first child. What a gift to get to hold our first baby and also giving her a name. Jesus was given a few names before His birth; one of those was Immanuel, which means God with us.
Gift #2: The Gift of Salvation. Another name for THE Gift is Jesus, meaning saves or salvation. Jesus was born to die for you and me. As the shepherds were told by an angel in Luke 2:10-11, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Gift #3: The Gift of Peace. There is a peace we have when all seems right. True peace comes through Jesus. When Charlie Brown asked the question of the real meaning of Christmas, Linus quoted Luke 2 and finished with Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased.”
For the complete article, see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.