11 Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.”

Here we are again celebrating the birthday of Jesus. And yet I wonder how many will actually celebrate it for that reason. The familiar story is, He was born in a manger, grew into manhood and then He went to the cross for the sins of man.

Each year I struggle with this greeting to all at this time of the year. 2012 has not been the best year for many. The economy is in bad shape, men and women are out of work, the interest rates are way down, and on and on I could go. So what can I say in this greeting to help you to realize and receive the Christmas spirit? Put your hope in the one we are celebrating about, the one called Jesus!

First, we need to remember Jesus is the reason for the season.

His birth into this world is what it is all about.

Without His birth, there would be no hope of a tomorrow and forgiveness of sin. So we have a lot to be thankful for, and we must take time to reflect on the meaning of Christmas. Bob Hope made a quotation during his lifetime and I agree. He said, “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?” No doubt that is the ingredient each of us need in our lives at this time of the year, but as Bob said, why wait until Christmas to show it?

Yes, there will be loved ones gone from our midst. But just think folks, without the birth, there would be no hope of ever seeing them again. How each of us need to rejoice during the celebrating of the birth of the one called Jesus.

Our Christmas wish should be one of hope. Hope that there will be peace upon this earth. Hope that our economy will get much better in the year 2013 and that jobs, somehow, will be made available and that love for each other will again come into our lives as we help those in need. Also at this time of the year we must remember those who are defending this country on foreign soil and their families also. Our God is a God of peace, not of war. He is a loving God and He has a personal love for each one of his creations.

We must continue to pray for a cure to the many diseases that are taking our loved ones away from us early in life, and then thank Him for those of us who have been given many years upon this earth. Remember the homeless, the jobless, pray for our leaders as they seek and answer to the problems of this world. As one lady told me just the other day, we must pray without ceasing and pray believing. The greatest gift given to mankind was given by God when he gave His son Jesus to us, born in a manger, without anything worldly of his own, lived among us and still with us in spirit. No other gift has ever matched it! Take your wishes to Him and see what happens.

From all of us at Green Mound Baptist Church, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very prosperous Happy New Year.