This Week at St. Stephen’s–December 18, 2011


This is the time of year many of us find ourselves rushing around picking up last minute gifts for those we love. We had such high hopes. But selection is diminishing, delivery deadlines are looming or have passed, and we are quickly running out of time. Is there not a better way?

It may be a helpful reminder—though perhaps not so much for this year—to view Christmas as a season celebrating something that actually happens all year long. The spiritual centre-piece of Christmas is the coming of God into our midst in the form of a little baby. This baby was to be a sign to us and to all the nations that God is with us … and not just at Christmas, but always, “to the end of the age”.

And if God is always with us, loving us, manifest not only the worship and ministry of the church, but in the people who populate our lives, then it is always appropriate to celebrate this gift by exchanging gifts with those we love. Christmas shopping could be a year-round activity. We travel and see something that makes us think of a loved one … and we buy it, right then and there. Even though it’s February!

But here’s the catch. We buy it, but we put it away, awaiting the day when our gift will be joined by others in a joyful outpouring of love. We celebrate once a year, but the gift we receive every day.

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