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Church News Volume 5, Issue 2

Dear friends,

Christmas gifts are exciting; but sometimes our best intentions don't seem to come off. Of course the gift is accepted with politeness, but occasionally behind the "'Thank you'" is the thought "Well I wonder who I can give that to, next year"! If that throws a little doubt in your mind about a gift you have planned to give, remember that gifts sometimes aren't' t appreciated right away but grow on people as they live with them, becoming eventually treasured and valued.

The truth is that gifts can be a bit of a risk, even the best gifts; and none more than the very first Christmas gift of all, when God gave His Son to the world in the manger at Bethlehem. He was indeed a surprise and not expected - at least not expected to arrive as a little child, a helpless baby, born to a not-very-well-to-do young couple, in the smelly, grubby stable of a small-town inn.

It should have been at least the palace of the king, with numberless attendants bowing to His every whim; that's what the expert believed anyway.

The Gospel tells us that Jesus was in the world, and the world was made by Him; but the world did not recognise Him. He was God's gift to the world, and He came to His own place, but His own people did not receive Him. The gift was not appreciated - at least not at the time. The essence of Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ, and the birth of Jesus is God saying to us "I love you"

Our response to such a declaration of love may not always be immediate; when it appears that someone loves us, we may not understand it and we didn't expect it. We may not feel the need for it; we may not even want it. But often in the course of time we grow to value that person's love and may find it truly precious.

With each of us God has taken a risk with His gift of Himself - the risk that we might not want Him, might not understand Him, might ungraciously accept the gift, but stick it away in a bottom drawer of our life, 'out of sight, out of mind.'

But God is the perfect giver. He just hopes - without any pressure being put on us - that we will see, or come to see, that His love is true, that it is something wonderful, that it is something that can transform our lives. It can change ourselves from the dull creatures that we are, to a finer, more alive, more real, more truly human beings; the kind of wonderful people that our Creator intended us to be and always hoped we would become.

The tradition of giving gifts at Christmas is a reminder of God's gift to us. The gifts we give, however expensive and special, eventually decay and are forgotten.

The gift God has given to us will never end, it will always be as fresh and new as the day it is given.

God's gift of His Son, the gift of Himself, is the gift of eternal life - you will receive in this life no gift so precious, or meaningful, or a more deeper expression of love for you, than the gift God offers you this Christmas.

How will you receive it?

Come and give thanks in church this Christmas time. May God bless you this Christmas time with the joy of understanding His great gift.

Rev'd Ian M. Finn

News Letter Archive.

Last Modified Wednesday 25 May 2011