Unwrapping CHRISTMAS

Hello All,
Unwrapping Christmas.  This is the theme of LIFT the next two weeks.   Why should we unwrap Christmas?  As most of the world celebrates “X-Mas” in one way or another, the real meaning, the real gift of CHRIST-MAS has been wrapped up and seemingly hidden in the clutter of X-Mas trees, X-Mas music, X-Mas gifts, X-Mas dinners, X-Mas candies and X-Mas working hours where all the shops are working overtime to get us in the spend our X-Mas money!  The true gift of God celebrated at CHRIST-MAS is the CHRIST!  Jesus Christ!  We will take some time as a church to unwrap the clutter, ribbon and box and celebrate Christmas together as we let His gift shine!
And even in the world, if one looks hard enough, despite the X-Mas clutter and noise, Jesus IS still there, and showing His loving gift of grace in beautiful ways.  I experienced a bit of true Christmas last week at my company’s X-Mas party.  O.k., on one hand it was a very splendid event at an incredible 200 year old estate house on the lake of Zurich with a 5 or 6 course meal with place settings of way too many forks and spoons causing me to have to think before eating each course, just to be sure I followed proper “etiquette”.  On the other hand, spouses weren’t included so I missed my Tanya who was home with the kids, so celebrating at this X-Mas party just wasn’t so celebrative for me.  And then it happened……… an angelic, raspy Gospel voice began to sing, and not just sing, but to truly S-I-N-G from the heart, to “Go Tell It On The Mountain That Jesus Christ Is Born!”  The entertainment booked for the evening was a woman and a man with a keyboard and two microphones and they began to lead me in worship, sitting right there at my company’s X-Mas party. 
During a break in their set, I walked across the room* to confirm what I already knew.  This lady wasn’t just singing words, she was singing praise from her heart.  (I know this because I asked her.)  After overhearing her talk with others, I said to her, “From the sound of your accent, I can tell we have something in common”!  She was also American and came to life hearing my English too!  Then my question, “Are you just singing words about the King, or do you know this King Jesus?”  She smiled big and said, “With all my heart, I know my Lord Jesus and it’s not just singing! My voice is a gift from God and I use this voice for Him!” 
So, may we all look beyond the sights and sounds of X-Mas around us and be blessed to see the true glimpses of CHRIST-Mas that are present around us, and that not just in December! 
We look forward to sharing Christmas together at LIFT these next two Sundays.  Don’t forget the special Christmas Eve Service that will be from 5:00 to 6:00 pm on the 24th. 
In His grip and grace,
* P.S. -* As FYI, after the New Year, the ladies will begin another book study called, Just Walk Across The Room, by Bill Hybels.  More info to come in January!

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