Week of December 25 - The Gift of Forgiveness
“Christmas is over” (not really) it is easy to look back over the celebration with a little frustration and maybe even disappointment. Sometimes anticipation of the event is so great, that the event itself doesn’t live up to the expectations. In this week between Christmas and New Years’ we might look back over the year in regret of many of the things we did and many of the things we failed to do.
Thankfully our Heavenly Father gives us the gift of forgiveness won for us by our Savior at Calvary. Paul says in those beautiful words of Christmas, “At just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8)
Rev. John Heckmann
Week of December 18 - Jesus, our Servant Leader
Servant leadership is best exemplified by Jesus, our Savior. While children eagerly anticipate the excitement surrounding His birth at Christmas, what was it like for the Christ Child? Here is the Son of God – not bound by time or space, feeling no pain, no fear, no hunger, no illness … and He’s going to do what? He’s going to come to earth, starting out as a helpless Baby … subject to dirty diapers, unable to communicate in words, and in the care of a young Jewish girl far away from family.
What love! What sacrifice! As you count down to Christmas, remember you have a Savior who sacrificed to live like us in every way, but without sin, in addition to His ultimate sacrifice of dying for us.
Savior of the nations, come, Virgin’s Son, make here Your home! Marvel now, O heav’n and earth, That the Lord chose such a birth. LSB 332
~Article written by Eden Keefe, Chair, LWML Leader Development Committee
LWML Vice President of Organizational Resources
Week of December 11 - Gifts to Use!
Gifts are given and received by each of us throughout the year – at Christmas, to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, and even on other holidays and special days. As Christians, the greatest Gift of all is the Child, Jesus Christ. He was sent from His Father; born in a manger; lived a perfect life; died for the sins of all mankind; rose to new life in heaven; and lives and reigns for all eternity! As believers in Jesus, we are gifted with salvation, forgiveness, love, joy and eternal life. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:15: Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
Each one of us has been given gifts from the Holy Spirit to use to God’s glory and in His service here on earth. The Spirit empowers and enables us to use the gifts God has given to us.
Peter reminds us to use our gifts in 1 Peter 4:10: As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace… “The mission of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League is to assist each woman of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in affirming her relationship with the Triune God so that she is enabled to use her gifts in ministry to the people of the world.”
Have you identified your gifts? Do you discern opportunities to use those gifts within the LWML and to the glory of God? Are you a good steward of the gifts that God has given to you?
Let’s, through the power and working of the Holy Spirit, begin a new year resolving to use our God-given gifts and abilities to further the spread of His kingdom in our homes, our communities, our nation, and into all the world!
Week of December 4 - Preparing Your Heart for Christmas
Have you noticed that lately we seem to be focusing on gifts whether they are for family, friends, co-workers or even LWML? I would like you to give yourself a gift during this Advent season; time to focus on the anticipation of the Savior.
There is much to be done before we are ready for Christmas. Homes need to be decorated, gifts purchased and wrapped, cookies made and programs rehearsed. But we all know the gift of our Savior happened not because we were ready but because God loved us so much that He sent His only Son to live and die for us so we can all be with Him in heaven.
Our preparations will continue but please take a few minutes each day to spend some time in God’s word to prepare our hearts for the celebration of Christ’s birth. If you need resources, try the many listed on this website, including daily Mustard Seed Devotions
LWML Vice President of Special Focus Ministries