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2008-12-03 Civic Leaders Lunch Sermon

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2008-12-03 The Greatest Gift

          So are you ready for Christmas?  Have you purchased all your gifts? 

          Have you wondered why we give gifts at Christmas?

          Some say it is because the men from the east gave gifts to Jesus.

          The real reason we give gifts is because God has given us many gifts.

          In the beginning, God made the entire universe.  God said, and it came to be.  And from the beginning, God gave us the gift of law and order. 

          It was His intention to teach us right from wrong.  But way back in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they sinned and learned right from wrong the hard way.

          God punished Adam and Eve and cursed them.  They would surely die.  Indeed, the penalty of sin, of disobedience is death.

          And yet, even then, God showed His love and his care.  He caused people to represent His authority on earth.  He raised up leaders, prophets, judges and kings to care for His people.  Indeed, all those in authority have their authority from God.

          Today, we honour His authority as represented by you, our leaders.  We thank God for you, for giving us the gift of your leadership.

          We thank God for our RCMP officers and staff that help provide order and justice.  We thank God for our EMS and staff who provide help and healing.  We thank God for the gift of our firefighters, and town workers.

          We thank God for our mayor and our councillors.

          You have an awesome task.  You have great responsibilities.  You’ve been called by God to exercise His authority in Edson and District.  We’re praying for you, that you might do your tasks well.

          You are a gift.

          But there is a greater gift yet.  God’s greatest gift is Himself.  Christmas celebrates the moment in history when God the Son, took on human flesh by being born of the virgin Mary.

          But God the Son didn’t come just to look around and experience what life is like for us.  He did that, it’s true.  But Jesus came to give us life.

          You know, if we weren’t all inclined toward all evil, we wouldn’t need people in authority to keep us obedient.  But it is because of sin, which leads to death, that Jesus came.

          He came to take away our sin.  The name Jesus means saviour, “He came to save his people from their sins.”  He lived, he died, and as it says in the Christmas Hymn, “Joy to the World”, to bring joy as far as the curse is found.

          Have you received the greatest Christmas present ever?  Have you accepted not only Jesus’ birth, which is celebrated, though not always honoured every year?  Have you accepted Jesus the Saviour?

          All you have to do is confess your sins, repent, accept the gift of forgiveness through Jesus Christ, who willingly took the curse on himself, and believe that Jesus is the Saviour, and you will receive the Greatest Gift, God Himself.  Amen.

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