Still looking for that perfect gift for your spouse, children, co-workers, or friends? Every year I think, “This Christmas I’ll find the gift that will be remembered for years to come. It will be just the right size and color. It will be that gift which is treasured and used often, not the one that ends up in the basement or the back of a closet.”
But what is it? There is no shortage of possibilities. Amazon has thousands of gift ideas in every price range. Surveys reveal what gifts are most popular for a particular demographic. But when you think about it, every present, no matter what it may be, is intended to provide the same ultimate gift. Whether it’s a new phone or a pair of socks, the intention is that the gift will bring joy of one sort or another.
Yet someone could search every website and mall, and they would never find the gift of deep-down, lasting joy that won’t grow old a few weeks after Christmas. That is what frustrates so many people. They throw themselves into the hunt for gifts with the expectation that the packages under the tree will turn out to be lasting “joy.” They’re looking in the wrong place.
The hymn writer put it well: “Oh, where shall joy be found? Where but on heav’nly ground?” (TLH 92:4). That elusive treasure worth more than all the money in the world is a free gift, but found in only place, God’s Word. That Word takes us to the manger and the Word-Made-Flesh, born to take all our sorrows upon Himself. He alone gives us perfect peace with the heavenly Father, and by His Spirit fills us with the joy which will carry us far beyond the holidays, all the way to the joys of heaven!
Tomorrow is the third Sunday in Advent with its traditional theme of joy. In the sermon text (1 Thess. 5:16-24), the apostle Paul not only directs us to Jesus for joy, he shows how to make the most of that joy every day. May the joy of the Savior brighten your Saturday and lead us to look forward to gathering around His Word tomorrow to rejoice in His love.
In His name,
The choir will meet in church at 9:10 a.m.
The children’s rehearsal for Christmas Eve begins at 9:30. Please be prompt.