November 29, 2017
Do any of you remember making a Christmas list as a child? This may or may not have been a Chicago area thing, but as a child we received two big catalogs sent to our house. One catalog was from Sears and the second catalog was from JCPenney. The arrival of these two catalogs marked the official date of when we could begin creating our Christmas list. The last section of the catalogs always contains the toys. So, it became tradition to for my brother and I to first turn to the last section and work our way forward. We would circle and highlight anything we could find that was of interest to us. I honestly do not remember how much our parents paid attention to the lists we put together. They may have already known what we liked and needed.
What would our Christmas list look like if we could hand a list over to God this year? Would we want something we need for our home or maybe for our family? Would it be a tangible item or the gift of time, health, or a visit to a loved one? I hate to sound selfish, but a little extra money for some unexpected expenses would probably be on my list. My list would include: a successful wedding for my son Chris and his fiancé, safety for my son Aaron as he heads off to officer training in the Army, resources for my daughter as she dreams of new ministry opportunities, and health for my wife as she continues to travel.
Then I start to think about how, in a way, God already made a Christmas list for us. Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” He has told us what He is going to give us. We need to be open to receive these gifts. They do not come all at once like Christmas morning. Instead, many of these gifts are a work in progress. Our Father loves to give good gifts to his children (Matthew 7:11). The gifts that He gives us are such a magnificent blessing in comparison to any list we that we try to put together ourselves.
Mr. Robert Koehne