Dear Family and Friends of Trinity,


   On the off chance that you have been asleep for the last 3 months and missed the hot news item for the fall, let me fill you in.  “There is going to be a shortage of gifts to purchase for Christmas. Store shelves are expected to be nearly bare and demand will far exceed supply for items purchased on line. Even if you are able to order them, they may not be delivered before your Christmas tree starts to shed its needles”.

  This news has been reported steadily and with the emotional equivalent of the reports that the Titanic had sunk.  The underlying message is “No Packages-No Christmas”  “Christmas cannot come without the tinsel, and glitter, and packages wrapped up in paper and bows.”

  I have good news for you!  Christmas came, and Christmas will come even if all of the Christmas packages and trappings are still sitting in ships off shore, in ocean type traffic jams.

  We have been trapped into thinking that we make Christmas, with all of our preparations and decorations and in believing that Christmas is about what we do, and can do for one another. We find ourselves saying “Christmas is about family”.  Those things can, and do, enhance our celebration of Christmas, but they are not Christmas.

  Christmas is not our doing—it was, and is, and always will be God’s doing, God’s gift to us.  In Christmas God came to earth as a child. His name was “Emmanuel-God With Us”.  He came not because we ordered Him but because He wanted to, and because He needed to if we were to be reconciled to Him. We did not purchase Him; He came to purchase us from the bounds of sin and death.  Jesus Christ is our gift from God. He did not come wrapped in ribbons and bows, but wrapped in the warmth of a baby blanket. He was not placed under an ornately decorated Christmas tree but in a manger in a stable.  He was not delivered by FedEx, UPS or the US Postal Service, but “delivered’ by a probably frightened young woman named Mary and her equally frightened young husband Joseph.  That is the true “family” of Christmas. There were no aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents joining the celebration; there were a few confused but excited shepherds who came, none bearing gifts or even a box of fancy cookies as far as we know.  Some time later, men from another country showed up with some gifts-none of them from Amazon, nor were they toys to be tossed away from lack of interest a day after the event, but gold, and frankincense and myrrh- highly symbolic gifts for a very special gift-The Savior of the World. That is Christmas.

  Please understand, I am not saying we should not deck the halls and trim the tree.  I am not saying we should not bake fancy cookies, or give gifts to those we love.  I am simply saying let us remember what Christmas was, and is, and will be-it’s true meaning, ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His Son.”  If we really grasp that remarkable truth, then it won’t matter much at all if the things on our gift list are still at sea on Christmas day.


Merry Christmas.  pjr

Additional information