It is hard to believe somedays that Christmas is so close. This has been a very unusual year, but like every other before it (or yet to come), the days move on and the cycle of seasons continues. Each of us has special memories of Christmas time, many I am sure are about family and friends who come together at this time of year. Even though we may have differences of opinion, political views, some have longstanding arguments and feuds, at this one time of year we try to put them aside for the sake of something greater.
In the very first Christmas celebration, we see this same thing occurring. The three magi came from far in the east to celebrate the birth of Jesus. They weren't Christians, not even Jews. The Bible doesn't say exactly what religion they followed, just that they came from far away. The very first Christmas celebration was about bringing together people.
Traditionally we give gifts, similar to the magi who came to Jesus in the manger. Each gift we think long and hard to try and convey a special meaning, hoping for a sense of joy and happiness to come when they are unwrapped. John 3:16 teaches us that God sent Jesus as a gift to us, because of the love God has for each and every person on Earth.
This year, how will we each remember this gift? We often hear the phrase, it's not the gift, but the thought that counts. Jesus came to us on Earth out of love, the thought of Jesus ministry is love, and love was the topic of almost everything which was taught. Through this love, Jesus told the disciples, and us, to go out and make disciples of all nations, sharing that love with everyone regardless of what might be there which keeps us apart. This fast approaching Christmas season, how will we each live out this calling to not only share the love but to work towards bringing together different people?