How is your JOY this Christmas? When I think about being a kid and anticipating the Christmas Season, I had an excitement that seemed to grow more and more as the big day headed my way. I was all about getting those presents, and all those hopes and dreams seemed to wrap me up with a Christmas spirit that energized me and brought happiness. As I grew, however, I realized I was getting in sort of a routine. Excitement for a gift, unwrapping the gift, playing with the gift… for about a day or two, and then forgetting I even owned the gift. This buzz I felt in anticipating a wrapped, unknown gift, did not sustain my happiness for very long.

These days, as I have now entered into the DAD ZONE, I find that there is more to Christmas than just receiving the gift. There is something about giving a gift to my kids and family that makes it special. I have realized that the relationships I have around me are the true gift. The ministry here at Oakwood, the family I share the holidays with, the lives that have been impacted, turn into things that bring me joy, and little, by little, I think I am getting closer to relating to what the Wise Men must have experienced as they approached the Messiah as a baby boy.

It says this in Matthew 2

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way. Matthew 2:10-12 ESV

Where do YOU find your JOY this CHRISTMAS? My hope and prayer is that I might somehow join the Wise Men in anticipation of meeting baby Jesus. I hope to find a place where I too can “rejoice exceedingly with great joy.”

Merry Chrismas!!!

Pastor Brandon

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