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FROM THE PULPIT: The best Christmas gift ever

Christmas is coming. I guess you don’t need to be reminded of that. Or… do you?

How well did you do with your shopping spree on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Did you find some great deals?

How well did you do on Giving Tuesday? Were you as generous on that day as you were the previous two special shopping days?

How are the Christmas party plans coming along? How many different events are on your calendar between now and Dec. 25th?

I continuously hear people remark how busy this time of year is – more so than any other time. It almost becomes a time of dread instead of meaningful celebration.

It can be quite easy to get swept up in the myriad things that seem to need to be done. As a result, it can be easy to let frustration build, tempers fly, resentment settle in. Is that how you would like people to approach your birthday?

I wonder what the Lord thinks about what has happened to the celebration of his birth. I wonder how the Lord reacts when he sees people beginning to resent all the things that “have to be done” during this time.

It is great to get together with family and friends for special times. It is delightful to watch children as they put on various little plays and pageants. It is enjoyable to bake special confections to eat. But it is highly important to keep everything in proper perspective.

First and foremost is the foundation of Christmas – the birth of God’s Son. He is the reason there is a celebration in the first place. 

Next is having a proper heart and mindset. If you are going to do special events or create special confections, do so to the glory of God. Greet your family and friends with the love and grace given you by God. Decorate your home with the intention of giving light to the majesty of God. As you cook, give thanks that God has provided all the necessary ingredients (even if you have to run to the store three times).

And since it is Jesus’ birthday, what gift do you plan to give him? As Christina Rossetti wrote: “What can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; If I were a wise man, I would do my part; Yet what I can I give him: give my heart.”

Giving him your heart would be the best Christmas gift ever.

Christmas is coming. What will you do?

Mark Broadhead

The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.

This article originally appeared on Crestview News Bulletin: FROM THE PULPIT: The best Christmas gift ever