December 19, 2021
In the story of God, as we tell it, there is a barrier that exists between the Created world and its Creator. A wall. Sin, we say, separates us from God, and separation from God is unbearable.
And our story goes on to say that God, seeing that we had no hope in ourselves of getting over, or through or around what separates us, offered us a gift in Jesus Christ who opens a door — a door we could not open ourselves.
What a gift!
But the story goes on to say that Jesus is the perfect gift; not only opening a door but coming through it. Our story says God is with us.
In Jesus, God joined with humanity, pointing the way to the end of our separation. And in his life, death and resurrection, so our story of God goes, Jesus is the door, now standing open. The giving continues because God is with us, still — and always.
Because being with us is part of God’s story, being with others is part of our call.
The Christmas Joy Offering opens doors of opportunity for the leaders who are shaped and supported through our gifts — doors that lead to hopeful futures for young people at Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color. Our gifts open doors that lead to relief for church workers and their families when emergency needs arise.
Proverbs, a book of wisdom sayings, states that it’s a person’s gift that opens doors. As we give generously to the Christmas Joy Offering, we seek to not only meet needs, but to meet people, to come through the door that generosity opens. We open the door to celebrate “God with us!” We open the door with each and every student who will soon inspire and lead the world. We open the door with each and every church worker who helps us share God’s story with the world.
The story of God, as we tell it, is not about a barrier, but about a gift. It’s not about the separation, but about the gift of “being with.” Please give generously to the Christmas Joy Offering, in celebration of God’s perfect gift to us. Give because it brings us together, to open doors of relief and opportunity and to relationships that are part of God’s story, a part of God’s perfect gift to us.
Bryce Wiebe, Director, Special Offerings and Appeals
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, December 19, 2021, the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Year C)
Today’s Focus: Christmas Joy Offering
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
God, with us, we are grateful for your perfect gift, Jesus Christ. May we learn, through your open door to us, to be open to others and offer ourselves to those in need. Amen.