Saturday Sermon: The greatest gift of all
When you experience this time of year through your five senses, you see scenes of the nativity; you hear the sounds of Handel's Messiah and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," you smell the fragrance of fir trees ready to be decorated, you taste those holiday baked goods, and you feel the cool temperatures on your skin. This is a season that makes you glad to be alive.
And when you look at this time of year through the eyes of faith, all of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations remind you of the love of God, who created us to enjoy all of these things, to receive them as tangible gifts from God's heart of love.
And above all of these gifts is the greatest gift of all - Jesus. The gift of the Father's love to us, all of us. No one has ever given a better gift - not your first puppy or your first bike or car. This gift tops all electronics and Internet gadgets by far. This is the gift to beat all gifts.
But like so many gifts, this one is received with a lot of excitement. But all too soon, the excitement dies down, and eventually, it is taken for granted.
Occasionally, we need to be reminded of just what this gift really means to us. Just think about it for a minute; Jesus left his exalted place in heaven to be born as one of us. He lived a life as a model for how we can and should live in relation to God.
He died a death as a substitute for us and satisfied the penalty for sin that we deserve. And then he rose from the dead having conquered it so that we don't have to fear it.
The bonus is that he now can live in us with his energy and vitality to enable us to live a life far beyond what we can think or imagine.
I don't think any video game, iPhone or Internet device can top that, do you?
May each of you discover or rediscover this gift in your life this Christmas so that you can truly mean it when you say, "Merry Christmas."
Rev. David King, First United Methodist Church of Palacios.