Well, our small group studying, The Purpose of Christmas, did last week! As we celebrated the birth of Christ with a music-filled party including Wright's Gourmet Alpine Cake, lots of milk, many snacks and a white elephant gift exchange, we sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and enjoyed great fellowship with one another. A bit corny, perhaps, a new tradition, most definitely!
As we studied the three purposes of Christmas: celebration, salvation and reconciliation, I think our small group found exactly what we were looking for this Christmas: a sincere focus on the true reason for the season. As we considered reconciliation last week, our focus was on peace: peace with God: spritual peace, the peace of God: emotional peace, and peace with others: relational peace.
And at Christmas time in particular we celebrate our Prince of Peace. "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given... and he will be called the Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
On the flip side, we weren't so peaceful during the white elephant gift exchange. There is of course, that one item that keeps getting stolen! At ours it came down to the porcelain duck and the shea-infused socks, which were tag-teamed by the husband/wife duo: Nate and Michelle. Nate is pictured here being very silly with the socks!
We added one new tradition to the white elephant exchange. Each person had to answer one of the following questions:
- What gift are you most grateful for this year?
- What gift will you give to God this Christmas?
Won't you consider these questions with your family and friends as you celebrate the birth of Jesus in your own way this Christmas? Merry Christmas! Be sure to open the best gift of all, God's love for you in the birth of his son, Jesus Christ.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8