The Meaning of Christmas
We are approaching the Christmas season. It is a time for us to reflect on what Christmas means in our Christian lives. It is a time when we exchange cards and gifts with one another. Growing up, I did not understand the theological significance of exchanging gifts at Christmas time. Now, I understand that we are celebrating the fact that Jesus exchanged his divinity for humanity, his eternity for temporality, his immortality for death on the cross. The gospel story is really the story of Jesus’ Great Exchange.
The difference between the Great Exchange and our gift giving at Christmas is that we need to know or at least be acquainted with someone in order to exchange gifts with them. Jesus gave his divinity as a gift to all persons even to future generations yet unborn. Through Jesus, divinity takes on humanity, to restore the image of God implanted by creation, but despoiled by sin. Here is the ultimate exchange that Christmas honors: that God became like us so that we might become like God. God accepted death that the world might gain life. Jesus accepts the ultimate gift of death in order to give us everlasting life.
Friends, we need to continue using this wonderful gift that God gives through Jesus Christ with an attitude of gratitude. The gift is not something that we deserve; we receive it by the grace of our Lord Jesus. In that spirit of giving and exchanging, I am beginning to ask my brothers and sisters to join us in believing in God’s abundance and our ability, trusting in His grace, to provide the resources that will allow our church to do great things!
Our church stewardship isn’t just about the church—it is about you and me. It is an opportunity for each of us to grow by making a choice to give a gift that can make a difference. Stewardship is an invitation to discover the joy of giving in response to everything we have received.
Stewardship is a choice. You may, in fact, have to give something up in order to make a stewardship commitment. So I want to challenge you to listen to your heart, and consider this discipline for the next year. See if faithful stewardship doesn’t make a change in yourself, in your walk with Christ, and in the community around you.
I know that you are a congregation of generous people. May you give generously to the church’s ministry and mission this coming year. As you give, may you know the joy of giving and the satisfaction of knowing what an important presence this church is in Riverview.
Pastor Louis Telcy