December 14, 2022
From Pastor Joseph Wamack
It was a week before Christmas, and two young boys-ages 7 and 5 were spending the night at their grandmother’s house. They spent the day playing in the snow, making snow angels and helping Grandpa shovel the sidewalk. In the evening, they had a wonderful dinner and helped Grandma with some of her holiday baking.
Finally, after a long day, it was time for bed. When they had taken their baths and gotten into pajamas, the two boys both knelt beside the bed to say their prayers. The youngest one prayed first. At the top of his lungs, he shouted, “Dear God, I pray for a new bicycle. You know my old one is falling apart and it is too small. I am not a little kid anymore-I am a big boy now and need a bigger bike. Also, God, you know I need a few more games for my PlayStation. I am bored with the ones I have.”
The way he was shouting, it nearly scared his older brother to death. Finally, his older brother elbowed him and said, “Why are you shouting, God isn’t deaf! He hears your prayers, whether you say them loud or soft.” The little brother opened an eye and looked at his older brother and said, “I know God isn’t deaf-but Grandma is hard of hearing and she’s way out in the kitchen!” The little tike was smart enough to want to “share” his list of “prayers”, as much with Grandma as with God.
It is a challenge to keep the Christmas season about “the joy of giving” when all around us are things meant to make us desire stuff for ourselves. The ads, the internet, the billboards, the sales, the stores-it is overwhelming.
So here is something for you to unwrap this year-if you must unwrap something. Unwrap this mind blowing idea: 2000 years ago, God sent His Son Jesus to this earth so we could see and experience God in the flesh-Immanuel-“God with us”. He came to this earth and was “wrapped in swaddling clothes”. And He invites us to come to the manger anew.
As we unwrap this gift of God’s Love for ourselves, we shall find that He offers us Life, He offers us Love, and He offers us Himself. He comes to give us everything our hearts truly desire-love, peace, joy, goodness, mercy. He lived among us in our life so we could come to have His Life.
Clothes wear out, shrink, or go out of style. Video games get outdated. Phones need to be replaced. But the Love of God is eternal and will last forever.
My prayer for you this year is: that you are surrounded by people who know you and love you. That you may sense God calling you to come closer, that you will serve Him with glad tidings and your heart be filled with vitality and joy, and then may you help unwrap His love for someone else to experience.