The Gift

Services

Sundays - 8:00 AM Liturgical & 10:30 AM Contemporary

by: Mt. Calvary Admin

12/02/2021

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"Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”   –Jeremiah 33:14

 What wonderful days are ahead of us in this month of December!   If ever there was a month of anticipation and hope, this is it.  Most of us learned of this expectation at a young age, as we looked at the brightly wrapped gifts under the tree in our homes.  We knew which ones were ours, which ones were promised to us because they literally had our names on them:  “To Tommy; From Grandma” or something similar.  I remember that the hardest part of the month was waiting for the appointed day when we could open the boxes and experience the full joy of what is inside. 

But that’s mostly kid’s stuff anymore.  For the adults, we usually know what that box holds in it because we bought it ourselves or we saw the credit card statement with the charge in it.  For some of us, this time of year has lost its mystique because we either know what’s to come or we have given to ourselves early.  We often buy things when they are on sale and then justify it to ourselves with the explanation: “This will be my gift to myself.” 

This Advent and Christmas Season, I encourage you to recapture the joy and excitement that you used to feel as a child.  Not about the gifts that are brightly wrapped in boxes underneath the tree but about the Gift Who was given and the Gift Who is yet to come. 

It’s really tempting for us to look at the prophecy of Jeremiah 33:14 and settle into the comfortable acceptance of Christ’s birth at Christmas.  We hear an echo of “the days are coming” in the familiar words of Luke 2 where it says, “In those days” and we seem to think that these days are past.  In one sense, they are.  Christ has come and we look forward to the celebration of His coming on December 24th and 25th.  In the first coming of Christ, the words of Jeremiah were completed.  The righteous Branch from David’s line came into the world and Judah (and the rest of the world) was saved as that Branch was cut off and sacrificed for us.  If we are not careful, this can make Advent season have all the excitement and expectation of buying our own Christmas presents: we already know what’s coming. 

But Advent is more than just preparing to celebrate Christ’s coming at Christmas; it’s In also a reminder that He will come again any time now.  As I pray every week, “Come Lord Jesus quickly!”  This has all the feeling of being a child at Christmas, seeing the present with our name on it and counting down the days to when we get to realize the fullness of that gift.  The only difference is there’s no circled date on the calendar.  Advent is a season where we are again reminded to be watchful and expectant, waiting for the promised coming of the Gift and celebrating that Gift for eternity.  It’s a time for all of us to recapture the anticipation that we felt as a child while we wait for the Child of Bethlehem to come and restore the earth. 

Watch and Pray. 

In Christ, 

Pastor Tom Vanderbilt  

"Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”   –Jeremiah 33:14

 What wonderful days are ahead of us in this month of December!   If ever there was a month of anticipation and hope, this is it.  Most of us learned of this expectation at a young age, as we looked at the brightly wrapped gifts under the tree in our homes.  We knew which ones were ours, which ones were promised to us because they literally had our names on them:  “To Tommy; From Grandma” or something similar.  I remember that the hardest part of the month was waiting for the appointed day when we could open the boxes and experience the full joy of what is inside. 

But that’s mostly kid’s stuff anymore.  For the adults, we usually know what that box holds in it because we bought it ourselves or we saw the credit card statement with the charge in it.  For some of us, this time of year has lost its mystique because we either know what’s to come or we have given to ourselves early.  We often buy things when they are on sale and then justify it to ourselves with the explanation: “This will be my gift to myself.” 

This Advent and Christmas Season, I encourage you to recapture the joy and excitement that you used to feel as a child.  Not about the gifts that are brightly wrapped in boxes underneath the tree but about the Gift Who was given and the Gift Who is yet to come. 

It’s really tempting for us to look at the prophecy of Jeremiah 33:14 and settle into the comfortable acceptance of Christ’s birth at Christmas.  We hear an echo of “the days are coming” in the familiar words of Luke 2 where it says, “In those days” and we seem to think that these days are past.  In one sense, they are.  Christ has come and we look forward to the celebration of His coming on December 24th and 25th.  In the first coming of Christ, the words of Jeremiah were completed.  The righteous Branch from David’s line came into the world and Judah (and the rest of the world) was saved as that Branch was cut off and sacrificed for us.  If we are not careful, this can make Advent season have all the excitement and expectation of buying our own Christmas presents: we already know what’s coming. 

But Advent is more than just preparing to celebrate Christ’s coming at Christmas; it’s In also a reminder that He will come again any time now.  As I pray every week, “Come Lord Jesus quickly!”  This has all the feeling of being a child at Christmas, seeing the present with our name on it and counting down the days to when we get to realize the fullness of that gift.  The only difference is there’s no circled date on the calendar.  Advent is a season where we are again reminded to be watchful and expectant, waiting for the promised coming of the Gift and celebrating that Gift for eternity.  It’s a time for all of us to recapture the anticipation that we felt as a child while we wait for the Child of Bethlehem to come and restore the earth. 

Watch and Pray. 

In Christ, 

Pastor Tom Vanderbilt  

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