Connecting Point – December 20, 2023

 

Every December, I find myself wondering what would be the best Christmas gifts to give to my Spouse, Children, Grandchildren and Friends. It's tough to determine what to give to my wife, Vicki, because she seems to have everything she needs, and what she doesn't have out and purchases without waiting for Christmas. It's tough to determine what gift(s) to give to my children, my daughter-in-law and my son-in-law because they're all adults with good jobs and incomes who also have everything they want or need. It's easier to determine what to give to my older grandsons because they want money or gift cards so they can buy themselves whatever they want or need. It's easiest to buy gifts for my next-to-the-youngest grandson, because he's still fascinated by electronics, video games, lego's, footballs, etc. And my youngest grandson is only 6 months old, so he's going to be pleased with whatever he receives.

I have discovered that there are 3 gifts that every person needs every Christmas, whether they are an adult, a teen or a child, and whether they are male or female. Every family member, friend, co-worker, neighbor or casual acquaintance I meet all need FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE (1 Corinthians 13:13).

So, how can we give those 3 most important gifts to others this Christmas?

We can give People FAITH by: 1) sharing some of our "faith stories" with them, 2) inviting them to Christmas Weekend and Christmas Eve services, 3) giving them a Christian book to read, or 4) reading the real Christmas story (Luke 2:1-20) before we open presents together, etc.

We can give People HOPE by: 1) spending time with and encouraging them, 2) telling them we believe in them, 3) offering to assist them in some way in their lives, and 4) inviting them to come with us to Christmas Eve services.

We can give People LOVE by: 1) speaking affirmingly and affectionately to them, 2) finding some way to serve them, 3) forgiving them; and 4) inviting them to come with us to Christmas Weekend and Christmas Eve services.

I call these 3 gifts, FAITH, HOPE and LOVE the "best gifts." If we give these gifts to People this Christmas (along with a tangible gift of some kind), People will be greatly encouraged by us and will become more open in the coming days to our sharing with them about Jesus.

So, who are you inviting to come with you to Celebration this Christmas? Whomever they are, I can assure you that they will be encouraged by the singing of Christmas Carols, by the opportunity to participate in Communion, by the Pastor-Children's time in the service, and by the message they hear from God's Word. And if you and I will be faithful to invite some friends and family members to come with us this year to Celebration's Christmas services, they may experience the "faith, hope and love" of the Lord in their lives. Which would be the best gift they would receive this Christmas or any Christmas. So invite those friends and family members to come with you. You may want to send them a text that goes something like this:

  • I want you to join me for one of our special Christmas services at Celebration Church. You will enjoy the Christmas Carols, the Communion time and the short message from our Pastor. Text me back and let me know when you would like to attend a Christmas service with me.

Click here to find a location near you!

By the way, if you have people who live in other parts of our region who would be interested in attending a Christmas Weekend services, send them to www.celebrationchurch.org for Campus locations and times.

While all of the services from every Celebration Campus can be viewed online, this year we will also have a version of Celebration's Christmas Eve services on local television stations. Those 30 minute Christmas programs can be found on:

  • WGNO (ABC) on December 24 (12 noon) and December 25 (1:30 am)

  • WNOL (CW) on December 24 (10;30 am) and December 25 (6:30 am)

Be sure to DVR the programs so that you can share them with your friends and family members who visit with you over the holidays.

One focus at Christmas time is helping people around the world through our Christmas Missions offering. This years offering will go directly to support:

  • The building of 5 houses for homeless families in Guatemala

  • 6 months of funding for our Life Transformation Center that ministers to children, teens, and senior adults in New Orleans' Hollygrove/Dixon community

  • The construction of a village Church worship facility in Kenya

  • Training for 800 Pastors and Church Leaders in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic

  • Benevolence Funding for the elderly and disadvantaged of our region

  • Supporting the Baptist Village ministry in Israel that is housing displaced people

  • 100 Celebration Missionaries as well as 2469 North American Mission Board missionaries and 3552 International Mission Board missionaries

CLICK HERE TO GIVE

As you receive direction from the Lord, plan to give generously to our Christmas Missions Offering. You can give online at www.celebrationchurch.org/give (select your campus, then designate Christmas Offering) or by using the Christmas Missions Offering envelopes that are found in our Worship Centers. For more information about the Christmas Missions Offering and its intended recipients, go to www.celebrationchurch.org.

Make sure to keep Christ in Christmas this year,
  
Pastor Dennis Watson
Lead Pastor, Celebration Church
dennisw@celebrationchurch.org
  dennis.watson.96
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