Zion Baptist Church
Saturday, March 24, 2018
Baptist Missionary Association of America
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By Mrs. Connie Reifsteck - December 2009


     Yep, it’s that time of year again.  I start thinking how did Christmas get here so soon?  Need to find my address list for Christmas cards (for some reason it never got put on my computer), need to make a list of presents to get, need to find some easy cookie recipes ‘cause there’s sure to be some kind of cookie exchange. And oh yeah, where are my CDs of Christmas music so I can start getting myself in the mood.  And of course money is a little tight, so how can I cut back.  Maybe fewer cards, tell the extended family that I’m going small but meaningful this year (one sister graciously said “Well, it’s the thought that counts.”)
     It’s a good thing Christmas happens in winter in our area because my CDs are blasting and I’m singing along with the carols, and since it’s cold my car windows are rolled up so I’m not inflicting pain on my fellow drivers who might hear me if the windows were down!  While we like to give and receive presents, and we like to eat cookies, and we like to send and receive Christmas cards, let’s not give these things first place in our celebration of Christmas.  Let first place be thoughts of Jesus Christ, and the love of God for humanity.  
     So my thoughts and my focus should be the first thing I take care of.  Where should my focus be?  Spending time thinking about Christmas cards, Christmas presents, Christmas cookies – I do that every year.  But what is really important?   Put Christ first, and the reason we celebrate this season should be clear. 
     Because of God’s amazing love and His will that man should have a means of salvation, God gave the greatest gift of all to the world, His only Son.  Christ came to this earth as a baby and grew to be a man who would sacrifice His life so that once and for all, we might have the means for eternal life. 
     Christ came from heaven.  The Father sent His Son to man, and He sends men to His Son through the preaching of the gospel.  All who trust in Christ are given to Him by a loving Father.  The Father loved the whole world, and the Son died for the whole world.  The Son had to be born as a human in this world in order to fulfil the will of God that no one should be lost.  Everyone who looks to Jesus by faith has everlasting life.  

     Think of the wonder of the event of the birth of Christ.  The fulfillment of prophecy of the birth of the Messiah in a little town called Bethlehem. The Son of God coming to earth to be born into an humble family.  A phenomenal star in the night sky, first leading shepherds to the stable where the baby lay, secondly leading wise men from far away to Judea and then on to Bethlehem.  A choir of angels singing unspeakable praise.   The love of God proven by the gift of His Son to a lost world.
     We don’t have to give up on sending the Christmas cards – it’s nice to let friends and relatives know you are thinking of them.  We don’t have to forget about giving gifts – everybody likes a present.  We don’t need to stop baking cookies – you need a reason for the New Year’s resolution to lose weight!  Keep singing along with the Christmas CDs – God loves a joyful spirit!  Just don’t let those things take over.  Remember the birth of Christ was only part of the wonderful gift of God – the whole life of Christ is our reason for living.