Are you feeling the pressure? Are you still trying to find the perfect gift for your spouse, child, co-worker, or friend? Maybe last year’s gift didn’t go over very well. Maybe the recipient thanked you and said it was the best gift ever. Now the question is how can you match or better it? Pastors and congregations may feel the stress of trying to make this year’s Advent series or Christmas Eve program the best ever. When that happens we need to refocus and remember that Christmas is not about what we do but about the gift God gives us.
No matter how much time, effort, and money we put into a gift, it will never be perfect. It can’t be since we are sinful by nature. Therefore everything we do is tainted by sin. Most of all we can never give God the perfect love and obedience His law demands. Even our best efforts are “filthy rags” (Is. 64:6).
That’s where God’s perfect gift comes in. The angel told Joseph to give Mary’s baby the name Jesus “because he will save his people from their sins” (Matt. 7:21). Jesus came to be perfect in every way in our place so that we could be counted as righteous before God. There is no better, more perfect gift.
The pressure is off. We don’t have to lose sleep worrying if we are giving enough or doing enough for God. Jesus has already given us a perfect standing with Him. You don’t have to be anxiety-ridden over whether the gift you choose for a loved one is perfect. When it is given as a response to Jesus’ love, it couldn’t be better. Elaborate planning, beautifully arranged music, and other preparations are not what make a Christmas Eve program a priceless moment, but rather God’s gift to us, the message of His Son come to earth to save us from death and open heaven to all who believe.
As Christmas draws closer, let’s keep things in perspective. It’s not about us and what we need to do to make Christmas happen. It’s all about God’s love and His perfect gift to us of Jesus. “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9:15).
Yours in Christ,
Service times tomorrow are 8:00 and 10:45 a.m. Choir is at 9:10. The first Christmas Eve rehearsal for the children begins at 9:30 a.m. Please be on time.
A special voters meeting will be held at 9:45 a.m. in the multi-purpose room. Bible class will begin after the meeting.
Our annual caroling to senior centers in the area begins at 4 p.m. at church. Everyone is welcome. Since some of our regular carolers moved out of town in the past year, we could use more voices.