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Now is the Time to Unpack Your Gift

“I wonder how many more Christmases I will celebrate?” my father asked aloud when he visited me six years ago. At time I did not pay much attention to his question. He passed away the next December. He also died on Ken and my anniversary, as well as on the winter solstice when daylight hours are the shortest and nighttime darkness is the longest. We do not know the exact day of the
birth of Jesus, but there is a theory that Jesus might have been born on the winter solstice, for the longest night hours will be soon over and the bright day hours will increase, giving us hope the spring of Easter is on its way.

Indeed time goes so fast! Now I am asking myself, “How many Christmas will I celebrate with my beloved family, as well as my church family?” We just celebrated a combined Thanksgiving Sunday worship service which was a prelude for our upcoming Christmas and the New Year of 2013.

It is quite interesting that the entire world celebrates Christmas Day by adopting the Jesus Calendar! During my trip to Tokyo, Japan, our bus tour guide told us, “We Japanese people all become Christian for one day on Christmas Day!” It is our Western custom to exchange gifts on that day. When you receive your gift, what do you do? Many homes open gifts early on Christmas morning. Children and
grandchildren love to be surprised, but then have a hard time waiting for the next Christmas morning (the older you get, the quicker it comes).

Everyone opens gifts to be surprised. In the same way, God prepared a surprise gift for each of us on Christmas Day -- the baby Jesus. However, it is sad that some will not open this gift from God. But we, as Christians, have already opened God’s most precious gift and are incubating this treasure in our hearts by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We then nurture this Christ child in our Christian lives through God’s word, fellowship, and fervent prayer. We call this “sanctification” and it doesn't stop until we celebrate our very last Christmas Day. Then you know the rest of the story of our journey. It’s called “Going Home, with a permanent address – the Eternal Kingdom of God.”