Pastor's Monthly Message

          Unwrapping the greatest gifts - “From Heaven Above”

What are your gift-giving traditions?  My Grandma Dora has been a part of our Christmas wrapping tradition for many years.  Grandma was a big bargain hunter.  When all the wrapping paper and bows went on sale after Christmas, she stocked up.  Blessed with a large attic, she had plenty of storage for several large rolls of Christmas wrapping paper.  When she died, my mother inherited the boxes of holiday paper.

For many years after that, we looked forward to the familiar (and sometimes funky) wrappings.  We found them on gifts as small as a gift card to ones as large as a 20-lb. bag of cat food. (Santa was always good to the kitties too.) Whatever we unwrapped, we thought of Grandma first.  We used the last of Grandma’s wrapping paper last year -- 23 years after she died.

This year, during the four Sundays of Advent, we will unwrap the divine gifts specially wrapped for us in the birth of Jesus.  Each Sunday, we will begin each service by singing verses from Martin Luther’s “From Heaven Above.”  Then – through prayer, scripture, and song -- we will unwrap a different gift.  We will unwrap:

The Gift of Hope (Dec. 3) as we wait in hope for the promised Messiah to arrive.

The Gift of Love (Dec. 10) as we welcome God’s steadfast love as revealed in his beloved Son.

The Gift of Peace (Dec. 17) as we find peace in the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Gift of Life (Dec. 24 9:00 a.m.) as we celebrate our life of faith in Christ’s name and the
            life that awaits us in heaven through his birth among us.

But that’s not the end . . .

On Christmas Eve (4:00 p.m. Candlelight) we will unwrap The Gift of Joy as we proclaim with
            the angels the good news of great joy on this holy night.

And on Christmas Day (10:00 a.m.) we will unwrap The Gift of Glory -- found in the only-       begotten Son of the Father born on earth from heaven above.

Many of the wrappings of prayer, scripture, and song will be familiar ones.  But these gifts weren’t purchased at bargain prices, and they will never run out.  Join us in unwrapping the gifts that came at the price of our savior’s life and only from heaven above.

Marked for the holiest of gifts,

Pr. Kristen