North Highland United Methodist Church
Monday, May 17, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

December 2014

Unwrapping the Gifts
of Advent and Christmas
Whether your family tradition is or was to open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, wasn’t it always a time of anticipation and excitement? And oh those times when the unexpected gift just put us over the moon with happiness! Then we get a bit older and our excitement often shifts to watching the younger ones experience a similar anticipation and excitement as they open their gifts.
For centuries the season of Advent has been a time when we are invited to anticipate another gift—the gift of God’s living presence among God’s people. That is why we tell the Christmas story again and again, sometimes in different ways, sometimes with different emphasis—in hopes of awakening something within ourselves that brings a rediscovery of God’s Spirit to us. Perhaps as we get older we expect fewer presents under the tree, but should we not continue to expect something amazing and wonderful and personal each and every Christmas?
This year as we light the Advent candles and worship together, we are focusing on Unwrapping the Gifts—the gifts of Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. Then on Christmas Eve we open the Gift of the Manger. We also might consider how we BE these gifts to others. How might we each be agents of hope..bringers of peace and presence...examples of love and caring...a spirit of joy in our highly political and uptight world? As we unwrap these gifts, we just may find something amazing and unexpected that will spark some new excitement, energy or contentment within ourselves—and that most certainly will be an ongoing gift to all of us, as we continue in ministry together.
Christmas Blessings to all,
Pastor Lou