The Upward Look Surprise Gift
When Gabriel Hurles turned six he was so focused on eating his birthday cake that he hardly noticed the giant package in the corner of the room. When another child pointed out the large gift, Gabriel ran over and began to tear off the wrapping. It wasn’t a bicycle or any of the other items a six-year-old would want. It was his dad, Army Specialist Casey Hurles, home on leave from the war in Iraq. Gabriel and his father had been apart for seven months, so when Casey learned his leave would coincide with his son’s birthday, he hatched a plan to offer one whale of a surprise.
(Boys wrapped birthday gift is dad back from Iraq, Associated Press and YahooNews.com, 1-30-09)
I love these stories! As great as that surprise gift was for little Gabriel, the greatest surprise gift for the world was announced by the Angel to shepherd's out in the pasture near the town of Bethlehem. God sent a living gift to us! That gift was his Son, Jesus Christ, in human flesh.
The shepherd's opened their gift by coming to the place where the angel had told them it would be found. This Christmas, if you will look beyond the tree in your living room, past the lights that decorate our communities, past the parties held at work, at school, and other places, beyond the sales in the malls and the Santa displays, you can look into your heart and find the real gift that the shepherds found.
In all of your celebrations, see the glory of the Lord as he came into the world in human flesh so that he could give his life for and to you.
This Sunday, we will wrap up our Advent celebration at FCC with two beautiful services. At the morning service I will share a message titled, The Great Invasion, based on John 1:14. At 6:00 we will join together for our annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service! There will be Carol singing, special musical numbers, readings, stories and more. The service will close with a brief communion meditation, a special way of doing the Lord's Supper and Candlelight! It will be a beautiful and inspiring way to launch your family Christmas celebration.
Enjoying the gift with you,