The waitress stepped away from the table with my iced tea order and I said to my friend Carol, “So, do you have your Christmas Shopping done?” She put her fork on her plate, took a deep breath, and said “Yes, finally. Now I can start on everyone else.” At first, I started to laugh, and then realized she was dead serious. So, I continued with “There are lots of really good sales.” Her eyes glistened, “My husband and I decided, just after we were married, that was the year of the unfortunate vacuum cleaner, that I should just do my own Christmas shopping. That has worked out just wonderfully. He and I are both happy.” She pulled out a small blue box , “I think he will really like giving me this.” I admired the gift and the ingenuity. Why hadn’t I thought of this years ago.
I think that in part, that is what the scripture is about. In this season of Christmas, we are so focused on buying stuff for people who don’t need anything, with money we don’t.t have, for folks we don’t really like all that much, that we have neglected ourselves. God wants us to receive His gifts of joy, hope and love. Hear the good news: Don’t be afraid, receive joy, for God has gifted you with His love in Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!