Have You Opened Your Christmas Presents Yet?
No, I don't mean the sweaters, underwear, socks or latest electronic gizmo. The 2nd lesson from last Sunday reminds us to use the other gifts that we received at Christmas:
12 As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:12-17 (NRSV)
These gifts didn't come wrapped in the typical way, but they DO have a gift tag on them: From GOD, To YOU. Put them on! Make a choice to put on a life of faith and love, and it will become your normal way of life. Let go of the drama, of the hurt, of the sin, of the grief - and accept the gift of life and true peace that Jesus came to our world to bring us. Don't leave the best gifts under the tree! Begin the new year with these gifts and you'll find the peace that God intends for you to have, no matter what your circumstances.
That all sounds easy, but is it really? The key, I think, comes from vs. 16 of the Colossians text above: "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly." Study, meditation, prayer, openness and sharing - these are all ways to discover what these gifts really are about and how they work in our lives. There are several opportunities to do just this at Trinity: Attend worship regularly to hear the word read and preached; attend a Bible Study, Church on Wednesday ("COW") study or Alpha group; get involved in a service project; give in support of specific ministries.
We will be beginning our Church on Wednesday study on January 13th, at both 10 am and 6 pm. This session of COW will be a study of the short book, People of Purpose: 40 Life Lessons from the New Testament, by Robert Driver-Bishop. It looks at the lives of forty different people from the New Testament to see what we can learn about character, sin, brokenness, restoration and healing, and how these lessons can apply to our lives. The books cost $12 apiece and will be available at the study, or you can just use the printed material that I will provide for study and thought.
Confirmation also begins on January 13th at the usual times: 6 pm for 7th-8th graders in the Library with Mrs. Sanders, and 7 pm with Pastor Becker.
God's Richest Blessings on you and your family in 2010!