Our pastor’s devotional message for Christmas Eve was rich with ideas to ponder. He unwrapped (literally and figuratively) the three gifts of God given us in Christ’s birth, using Luke 2:1-20 as his text.
“For unto you is born this day a Savior…”
The first gift God gave was Salvation. We need to be saved FROM our sins (as a drowning man in rough seas must first be pulled from the water); we are saved TO a faith community and a relationship with God (as the drowning man is hauled into a lifeboat); we are saved FOR a walk in new life and new purpose (as the man is returned to the safety of dry land). Forgiveness, repentance and recompense. If we refuse to forgive a repentant brother in Christ, are we saying that Christ’s death was not sufficient for the task? If God forgives, can we refuse to ?
…”Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”
The second gift God gave was Peace. Peace in this world doesn’t mean the absence of conflict, but the presence of the Savior in the midst of conflict. We will never have true peace among all men on this earth until the Lord’s return, but in the meantime all His children can experience His peace which is beyond human reason and comprehension, because we have His presence with us, living in us.
The third gift of God that night was Hope. While Salvation speaks to what is past, and Peace allows us to live in this present life, Hope looks forward to that blessed day when we shall be with God in glory. Death will be swallowed up in life, every tear will be wiped away. Do you know this verse of “Joy to the World”?
No more let sin or sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground!
He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found…
Far as the curse is found… Far as, far as the curse is found.
May your Christmas be rich with the gifts of Salvation, Peace and Hope.