Faith & Insight: The gifts of Christmas | NevadaAppeal.com

Faith & Insight: The gifts of Christmas

Nick Emery

In just a few short weeks many will celebrate Christmas again. What are you doing now, to prepare for this great celebration? Probably, a lot …

There's shopping to do and gatherings to plan for and within our community there are many events to attend and participate in. Some of us will travel and some of us will host travelers. Perhaps you'll go look at Christmas lights or go to your children's or grandchildren's school performance.

Before us this season, and within just a few short weeks, there will be lots of things to participate in and prepare for. But beyond the holiday hustle and bustle — that sometimes chaotic busyness — what are you doing now, to truly prepare for the greatest event in history, Christmas, the reminder of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ?

The days and weeks leading up to Christmas are often called "Advent" and the Advent season is an invitation to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ. By stepping into the middle of humanity and building a relationship with us, we intimately come face-to-face with the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and we believe He comes to redeem, transform, and make all-things new.

What are you doing to prepare for this most beautiful celebration that forever changed the world? How will those around you this Christmas, not only experience the hope, peace, joy, love and grace of God, but how might you be a conduit of truth that points them to believe in the One who is to come?

In Titus 2:11 we're given a great offer, a great gift, that "the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people." Most of the offers we receive in this world have built-in restrictions, limitations, and expiration dates and when we experience those type of limits we're left frustrated, chaotic and even hopeless ­— lacking any true joy or peace in our lives during this most amazing season.

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The truth for us to embrace and prepare for is the gift, this offer, of Jesus Christ — the Good News of Great Joy — this divine, good news that has brought forth incredible joy that can transcend politics, barriers with vastly different languages and cultures, one's status or income, their religion and gender and even geography itself.

Jesus embodies an offer — a gift of hope, of peace, of joy, of love and of grace that's for all people, and has no expiration date, restriction or limitation. The birth of Jesus Christ ushered into the world a type of offer, a gift, for all people and the gift of Christmas changed the world forever. Have you truly unwrapped the greatest gift ever given? And, what are you doing to prepare for the true meaning of Christmas, the gift of God's grace, to a world He created and a people He deeply loves?

Nick Emery is the senior pastor at Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church. He can be reached at pastornick@gswc.org.