The Gifts of Christmas

by David Morgan, Lawrence County Executive

Most of you have probably finished Christmas shopping. All your gifts are wrapped and under the tree . . . or in a closet, waiting for Santa to take credit. You can prop up your feet and drink cocoa until Christmas arrives.

I wish that was true at my house. We try our best to start early, but every year is a rush of buying, assembling, and wrapping until the very last minute. It can make Christmas seem to be only about gifts.

But in fact, Christmas IS about gifts.

The birth of Jesus was a gift. His arrival was heralded by angels and the spot marked by a star, but the birth itself was under the most humble of circumstances. God’s son experienced life as a boy and a man, so we know He understands us. What a gift!

God chose Mary and Joseph to act as earthly parents for Jesus. In the same way, He chooses our families – biological or not – and they are gifts to us. Like Mary and Joseph, they have specific roles to play in our lives.

Sometimes we don’t understand why we’re given the families we have. They can disappoint and hurt us, and we can do the same to them. God won’t counteract our free will, and most problems in our lives and the world are caused by it. It is a gift to have a heavenly Father who wants only good for us, and will lead us along the right path if we consult Him.

Jesus grew up in a community, and that is a gift we enjoy as well. Every community is made up of imperfect people, so it’s a blessing to be surrounded by people just like us!

Christmas can be a difficult time. We often think of people who are no longer in our lives and the joy we shared with them. I want to encourage you to be thankful for those people and look with new eyes at those around you now. If you lack people in your life, please become part of a church family that will love you and you can love in return.

The gift of Jesus’ birth led to His death and resurrection. He became the sacrifice for all of us, allowing us to simply ask for forgiveness and commit to a new way of living in order to receive the gift of eternal life.

Of all the gifts you give and get this Christmas, I hope you enjoy the love and blessings that are yours year-round the most.

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