Pastor’s Pen

Merry Christmas! Today is the day set aside to commemorate the wondrous birth of the only person in history to borrow both a crib and a grave: our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ! God be praised! Amid the seasonal confusion brought about by unbridled capitalism, unrestrained commercialism and excessive overindulgence of all kinds, one thing remains clear; “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)” Aside from all of the gifts that have been and will be opened, there is no gift that can compare to the redemption we have received through the birth of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! Hallelujah and Amen!

This day has always been personally enjoyable. Memories of rehearsing and performing Sunday School speeches, racing to the Christmas tree in the wee hours of the morning, gathering all of the trash, bracing the cold, trekking through 6 inches of freshly fallen snow and sitting before a royal dining spread all come flooding back. To this very day, my favorite thing to do is sit in front of the television with a stacked plate to watch the lineup of NBA games! There is nothing like screaming at the television with a mouth full of ham and sprite! If I close my eyes and block out all distractions, I can see my mother’s cherry cheesecake with the gram cracker crust placed in the center of the dessert table. I can hear my grandmother’s stereo system blast “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by the Jackson 5. I can smell my aunt’s peanut butter cookies adorned with a centered Hershey’s kiss cooling on top of the stove. I can see my siblings and my cousins fight over new toys. All of these nostalgic memories bring great joy and satisfaction yet none of them compare to what I have received in Jesus Christ.

Throughout the years, I may have received and given hundreds of gifts and eaten tons of food. Some of the gifts have been returned, exchanged or re-gifted (just being honest). Some toys have been played with and used until they were broken, passed down or given away. Clothes that have been received have been tattered, stained and outgrown. Food that was prepared has been long consumed. Even some of the people that helped make Christmas awesome and memorable have passed away. Everything that I held as valuable and dear has an expiration date. Everything that people give to one another is terminal and short lived. Today, we celebrate the gift of the eternal savior who permanently wiped the sin slate clean and has restored our relationship with God! Rejoice and be glad!