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The Greatest Gift

Chaplain Bill Wolfe / Llano County Sheriff's Office

Hello, and welcome to the Chaplain’s Corner. Here it is December again. The election is behind us, as is Thanksgiving, and the New Year is rushing at us. I’m ready for life to slow down a little… Christmas shopping’s got to get done again and my 56th birthday coming at me next February – about 20 years too soon.

Perhaps it was thinking about Christmas shopping that brought to mind the phrase “the Greatest Gift.” I got to thinking about what was the greatest gift you could give or receive.

For some it might be that new car (oops…forget that with this economy). For someone else it might be her boyfriend bringing a box with a big diamond in it (along with “popping the question”). It might be that first new bicycle that Blue Santa brought. It might be a healthy 7 lb. 10 oz. bundle of joy that shows up without causing Mom to spend days in labor. For someone else it might a good report from the doctor. In other words, in general it could be different things to different people.

But when you step back and look at it, all of these things have something in common. The “greatest gift” could be something you receive that is “beyond your wildest dreams.” It’s surely something that’s given in abundant love. But what stands out to me is that the greatest gift is almost certainly something that is beyond your means to acquire through your own resources.

So, let the Christmas sermon begin. At Christmas time we celebrate the Greatest Gift that mankind could receive. Since I just mentioned some characteristics of “the greatest gift,” let’s look at what makes it the Greatest Gift.

Well, I guess to start with, it’s because it’s something that wasn’t fashioned by the hands of man. It’s not something that was designed on a computer. The Gift was fashioned by the very hand of God.

It’s something that was given with the greatest love…I say greatest love because no love is greater than God’s love. “For God so loved the world…” Sometimes that’s a little hard to get our head around. It doesn’t say just that God loved. It says “so loved,” meaning a very deep and powerful love. And that love is still there. He still so loves us.

The Gift is the greatest because it’s beyond our ability to create or acquire on our own. If it were in our power, then it wouldn’t be necessary for God to give it. It’s the greatest because it is a restored relationship with God made possible.

What is the Greatest Gift? A Baby born in a stable and laid in a manger. His birth heralded by Angels and His home marked by one magnificent Christmas light. God Himself, come to earth as one of us, to make it possible for us to spend eternity with Him.

Let me leave you with the words to one of my daughter’s favorite Christmas songs (author unknown to us):

It’s not the biggest teddy bear
Sitting in the window there,
It’s not the chubby baby doll,
A wind-up toy or basketball.
It’s not the latest, greatest thing
That Santa Claus will ever bring,
But still, it’s the greatest Gift of all.

It’s not a fancy shirt to wear,
A shiny diamond solitaire,
A silken tie, a suit of tweed—
The silly things we think we need.
The greatest Gift to come our way
Was sent by God on Christmas Day.
Jesus is the greatest Gift of all!

When He came down to earth,
It was a lowly birth,
But soon the world would sing,
“Behold the King of Kings!”
And when He died for me,
He gave unselfishly
The greatest Gift of all!

It’s not the greeting cards we write,
A choir singing “Silent Night,”
Snowflakes on the windowpane,
Stockings filled with candy canes.
The greatest Gift God gave to man:
A baby Boy in Bethlehem!
Jesus is the greatest Gift of all,
Jesus is the greatest Gift of all!

Wishing you and yours a very blessed Holiday Season, and we’ll visit again next year.

Chaplain Bill

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