Pastor's Pen
Pastor’s Pen-  
                                                                             Christmas 2018
                                                                 Must-have Christmas Gifts of the Year
With Christmas season upon us, it’s time to get busy with our shopping.  Unlike Santa we don’t check our list twice to be sure if the person we are buying the gift for was naughty or nice.  We are on a mission to get the gift they requested, no matter what obstacles stand before us!  It is to do or die trying!

The website Statistic Brain has tracked the “Must have Christmas gift” for the past decades.  In , had to have a Cabbage Patch Doll. In1985, we just had to have an $18 Pound Puppy.  1989 saw  American households scrambled to get a new Game Boy; followed by the 1995 Beanie Baby craze, and then the 1996 Tickle Me Elmo frenzy.  In the ensuing years American consumers knocked themselves out to buy the following top yearly must-have Christmas gifts: a new iPod (2002), a Kindle (2010), the Angry Bird Board game (2011) the Doc McStuffing doll (2013) and the Frozen sing along Elsa Doll (2015).

I must confess, I am acquainted with many of these must have gifts and struggled to make sure my kids and grandkids got what they wanted.  Getting these “must-have gifts” often required enormous amounts of scheming to obtain the limited supply of gifts as well as waiting in long lines outside the stores for them to open and then a mad dash to claim one.

I just want to make two observations:  first, these “must-have gifts” change every year, but the spirit of consumerism remains.  Second, God’s gift of salvation in Jesus Christ is free and available to all.
In our celebration of Christmas this year let’s be amazed and overwhelmed not at the pressure we put on ourselves to buy that perfect gift or what we are willing to do to purchase them.  Rather let’s stand in awe of God’s gift that lies in a manager.  Let us be amazed as to who is this little baby boy resting on the hay - Almighty God in the flesh.  Let us be overwhelmed for the reason of his birth and life on this earth - to die so we who are sinners could become the righteous of God so to be a part of forever family.  Finally, let us rejoice that this gift offered to us by God the Father and His Son requires us simply to receive it with open arms and a joyful heart, and when we do, abundant life here and now eternal life forevermore is ours.

While there will be every year what America believes to be the must have gift, where life is less without it. Let us remember and never forget the most needed gift for all of us is freely given., A Savior, Christ the Lord.

Have a Blessed Christmas each and every day as you take Jesus with you throughout this coming year.

Pastor Eugene Voss

Go to our You Tube link to see Rachel Tozzi sign "Angels Among Us".