“Wise Men opened their treasures and presented Jesus with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” Matthew 2:11
As Christmas is upon us we start thinking of gifts, decorations, parties, travel, etc. We receive shopping lists from children and grandchildren and proceed to the malls or go online to buy gifts so we have something to give our loved ones on Christmas. That’s just what we do as individuals at this time of year and it is a good thing. But Christmas is also a great time to think about our plans with regard to giving to the church.
The reason for the season of Christmas is Jesus. God became one of us and came among us to serve and die and rise again so that we who believe will enjoy the gifts of forgiveness and eternal life. That means that Jesus is the greatest gift of all and He is given free of charge. We just receive it in faith and share it. It’s simple. So let’s allow our focus to be on Jesus this Christmas.
I heard a story recently. There was a missionary who came to a church and shared his mission work among the poor and the needy. The missionary not only helped them with their physical needs but also shared the gospel. The missionary returned to the United States to relax and raise some funds to continue his mission work. He spoke to many churches about his mission. A boy in the congregation was inspired by the talk and came home and talked to his parents about supporting the mission. At that time the family was planning a family vacation. The boy suggested that they would cancel the vacation and give that money to the mission and they did. That family made a sacrifice and it cost them their vacation.
The love Jesus has for us cost him his life. The Christmas season urges us to think of the sacrifice Jesus made and remind us of the mission He has left us to accomplish.
As pastor, I invite you to ponder the amazing gift you were given in Jesus. I am proud and thankful that people of St. John’s have been making such a sacrifice to fulfil the mission of God by sharing their time, talents and treasures.
Doing this will inspire you to open your heart and your hands to share your time, talent and financial resources to continue the work of St. John’s Lutheran Church to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Members received this letter in the mail with a pledge card and Christmas envelope. Please prayerfully consider your gifts and support of the various ministries of St. John’s for the coming year, 2017. If you did not receive envelopes or misplaced yours, there are more at the Welcome Center.
May you have a blessed Christmas!
Pastor Nirmala Reinschmidt