Trinity Lutheran Church
First Sunday of Advent, December 3, 2017
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
THOUGHT: The Christmas spirit whispers softly in my ear, “Go be of good cheer.” —Richelle E. Goodrich
It is now December! This means that only a few days remain before Christmas — 22 to be precise.
Usually, such a time reference is a reminder that our time to do Christmas shopping is drawing to a close. The stores will only be open so long. We’d better make our lists —remembering the friends and family members who are dear to us. But, at our age, perhaps we’ve given up on shopping for our huge family and dear friends. It’s just too difficult to manage. And anyway, we know that Christmas gifts have very little to do with the true meaning of Christmas.
Sometimes, people will ask us, “Do you have the Christmas spirit?”
Well, what is the “Christmas spirit” anyway? Good question. We may have a hard time saying what the Christmas spirit is, but it should not be hard to say what the Christmas spirit is not!
The Christmas spirit is not selfishness.
The Christmas spirit is not an unforgiving attitude.
The Christmas spirit is not unkindness and a severe meanness.
The Christmas spirit is not pride.
The Christmas spirit is not stinginess.
On the contrary, the Christmas spirit is unselfish and forgiving; it is kind and gracious; it is humble and generous. These are all qualities that Jesus Christ possessed in abundance, and he is the “reason for the season.”
Theologian J.I. Packer once wrote: “The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity —hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory — because at the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor, and was born in a stable so that 30 years later he might hang on a cross. It is the most wonderful message the world has ever heard, or will hear. The ‘Christmas spirit’…ought to mean the reproducing in human lives of the temper of him who for our sakes became poor at the first Christmas. And the Christmas spirit itself ought to be the mark of every Christian all year round.”
Do you have the Christmas spirit? —Timothy Merrill
Prayer: O God, increase your spirit in me today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.