Christmas brings blessed gifts that never wear out or become passé. Consider what each of the Christmas characters demonstrates in their lives.
Every parent knows the frustration of buying Christmas gifts that sit unused while the empty boxes become the child’s source of joy. That expensive gift you put a lot of thought into for your loved one is now set aside and forgotten. The toy that your child yearned for over the months is suddenly left sitting in the corner unused. What is the most incredible thank you the giver can receive? It is seeing the gift becomes a regular part of the recipient’s life. As Christians, during Christmas, we know we celebrate the gift of Jesus coming into the world. And we realize that the most significant way we can show our thanks is by availing ourselves of that gift. How might God’s gift to us affect our daily lives?
Jesus said, “I am the gate.” Some of his listeners understood part of what he meant but there is a deeper meaning. A meaning they had difficulty comprehending. When we go through the gate, Jesus talks about we discover new possibilities and leave our past behind. Going through the gate promises a new life.
The word “Jesus” means “God saves.” So anytime we say the name Jesus we are saying God saves. He is the deliver. His name says He is Savior. He liberates us. He rescues us. If that is so then what does that really mean?
There are some Christians who think that if someone doesn’t believe exactly like they do their salvation is in question. Is this true? Do we need to say certain words to make sure our salvation is not in question? Christians give different answers to these questions. Our answer depends on how wide is God’s mercy?
Sermon preached at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona on July 26, 2015 by Rev. Joel Hurley