Christmas Gift

CHRISTMAS GIFT!

That and "Christmas Eve's Gift!" are expressions I grew up with in my family.The idea being that one would make the exclamation to another and the one that it was said to was expected to give the other a gift.Never worked for me then and doesn't work out well for me now.Perhaps it is a tradition in your family as well?

I was curious about the tradition a few years back and did a little research on it.The origins traced back to around 1844 in the southern United States.It was a tradition amongst African American and Anglo farming families in rural areas.Where today it is common to hear "Merry Christmas" in greeting this time of year, "Christmas gift" was an equivalent expression that was used in the rural south as a simple greeting and recognizing the birth of Christ as a gift.

A variant of "Christmas gift" happened on Christmas eve as someone, a little overly ambitious, would proclaim "Christmas eve's gift" and hope for an early present, traditionally candy or nuts.

LesLee and I recently celebrated our one year anniversary with Bread of Life here in Commerce, TX.It has been our honor and privilege to serve amongst the people as their pastor.Each month, we can come alongside and provide food to the community of Commerce to those in need.Last night started out as no different than it has in the past 12 months.The food pantry has come a long way since my first introduction to it December of 2015.We are much better organized.We have better leadership in place.We have clients that are happy to be here rather than disgruntled with the staffing.We have larger and better selections of food.Most of all, we have a group of people that volunteer because they want to be here and love to help others.

During last night's distribution, I had the opportunity to hug and love on the folks that walk in our doors.Some new faces but mostly old.People that have grown to know me as the pastor here and expect to see me each month; to greet them, shake their hands, pray with them and generally love on them.Over and over as they would leave I would hear, stated in different ways, how much they appreciated us and how thankful they were for the food.What they may not realize is how blessed we are to be able to serve them.How great it is to be able to hang out with them, even for just a few minutes, and show them the love of our God.

Last Sunday I talked about the shepherd's and the revelation of the birth of Christ by the angels.I made a statement that the windows of heaven had opened and the glory of God had spilled out to all the earth that night.It was a night where the Kingdom of God had come down and God's will was down here on earth just as it was in heaven (Matthew 6:10).Last night, that same thing happened right here in our midst.The heavens opened and the glory of God Almighty came down in our midst.The Kingdom of God was visited upon us right here in Commerce, TX and the will of our Father in heaven was completed.

That was His Christmas Eve's Eve's Eve's Eve's gift to us.

May you all have a very Merry Christmas as we celebrate the real CHRISTMAS GIFT.

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Tuesday, 20 February 2018