Look at this calendar! Can you believe it? We are only a few days from Christmas! (Count the days remaining until Christmas.) Have you finished all of your Christmas shopping? The newspaper will be full of ads for those who have some last-minute shopping to do.
I did some research on the Internet to see what the top-selling gifts are this year. Here are a few of the most popular gifts for kids:
Big Hugs Elmo - I know you probably think this is just for younger children, but it was on every "Top Ten Toy List" I found. There are many ways to play with the Big Hugs Elmo and it comes with more than fifty animated sounds and phrases!
Furby Boom! - Sorry parents, Furby is back, but it's not the same old Furby from past years. There is a whole new generation of Furby critters out there! You can even interact with the new Furby using an iPad, iPod, or iPhone!
Doc McStuffins Check-Up Center - Kids will have all the tools they need to enjoy imaginative play as they heal toys and give checkups just like Doc McStuffins on the popular TV show.
Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow - This looks to be this year's hottest Nerf gun. It's a nerf weapon that comes in pink and is being marketed to girls!
Nerf N-Strike Elite Centurion Blaster - Don't worry, boys. There is a Nerf gun for you too!
Flutterbye Flying Fairy Doll - Unlike other fairy dolls, this one actually flies.
Well, those may be some of the best-selling gift items that children will find under their Christmas tree this year, but they don't compare with the gifts which we receive from the Christ of Christmas.
In our Bible lesson today we learn that John, even though he was in prison, was hearing about all of the wonderful things that Jesus was doing. He sent a message to Jesus by some of his friends. "Ask Jesus if he is the Messiah we have been expecting, or should we continue to watch for someone else?"
When Jesus was asked the question, he answered, "Return to John and tell him what you have seen and heard. You have seen the blind receive their sight, the crippled and lame are able to walk, those with leprosy are being cured, the deaf are able to hear. Even the dead have been raised and the good news is being preached to the poor."
If you were blind, what better gift could you receive than to be able to see? If you were crippled, what better gift could you receive than to be able to walk? If you were dead, what better gift could you receive than the gift of life? Oh, by the way, that last gift I mentioned... the gift of life. That is the real meaning of Christmas. Jesus came to earth to give us life -- eternal life! What a gift!
Father, every good gift we receive comes from you and the greatest gift is eternal life brought down to us through your Son. Father, we thank you. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.