Have you ever wondered why Christmas is such a favorite time of the year? Unfortunately, I’m not sure we get so excited for the right reasons; however, I know as a child, I loved Christmas because I got presents! My mom and dad would tell us kids that we had to be good so that there would be presents under the Christmas tree. And, of course Christmas eve we could hardly sleep because we knew the next morning we got to open the presents and see what was inside. But, the point I want to make is not the presents themselves, but the fact (at least for me when I was a child), was that there was a condition attached to us receiving Christmas presents – We had to be good! Therefore, the gifts were a reward for our good behavior.
However, a gift is something that is given to you or you give to someone else without any strings attached. A true “Gift” is something that you receive when you have not done anything to deserve it. God’s Gift to us is GRACE.
In 1 Corinthians 15:12-28. St. Paul gets to the heart of the Gospel. He is writing to the Corinth Congregation about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through His resurrection – His rising from the dead – You and I receive a very precious gift – A gift that contains GRACE.
Here is the thing…Jesus wants us to be ‘good” and do all the right things – obey His commandments – especially that we love God above all things and love one another. However, Jesus knows that even though we may try “really” hard, we will still make mistakes…say things we should have not said, think things that we should not think, and get up in the morning and do those same stupid things again. And, so Jesus did something about it. He didn’t want us to die a death in sin and live in hell. So, he died on the cross and went to hell for you! Jesus conquered death!
Do you deserve that? No. Did you earn God’s grace? No. It is a GIFT! A gift that empowers you to live in a New Way – knowing that you will never die or go to hell, but have a life with Jesus Christ. Why? Because Jesus was resurrected and so you will be also!
Let us pray…Gracious God, we give you thanks and praise for the gift of Grace – a gift that none of us deserve or have earned. Help us to strengthen our relationship with You so that we hear you calling us to your will. In your name we pray, Amen.