Skip to content

Christmas thoughts from our Synod President–

A Season for Receiving

Areas of South Texas have experienced serious drought this past summer and fall. With the lack of rain use restrictions have been placed on residents’ water usage because the reservoirs and aquifers are dangerously low. These sources of water cannot continue to give without being replenished. Therein lies a lesson for Christians.

We are frequently reminded that Christmas is a time of giving. We suggest a thought that we like better: Christmas is a time of receiving.

We are not speaking in a material sense but a spiritual one. In a spiritual sense blessing comes first of all through receiving. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12). “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba Father'” (Romans 8:15). Jesus said: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever” (John 6:51).

Christmas is the time of receiving the message of the angels who proclaimed that the promises of God had been fulfilled: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). The joy of receiving is well understood by the penitent who recognizes the indictment of Romans 6:23 and in faith believes the acquittal: “The wages of sins is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The message of the Savior’s birth–and ultimately of all that our God has done for us in Christ–is foundational to our personal spiritual life, and to our life as a church. It is basic to the ministry of each pastor as well as teacher.

If the church is to fulfill its commission, and a pastor and a teacher are to fulfill the task to which each is called, church members, pastor, and teacher need to take time out of their busy schedules to receive. This means that a pastor and a teacher will want to take time out of the day to receive the Word through personal reading. It means that members will want to take time out each day to read the Word with the family. They will want to take quiet time each Sunday to receive what is brought them from the Word of God.

We can become so busy even in the church–to say nothing of all the other activities in which we are engaged–so that we are no longer receiving.

Christmas is a particularly bad time for getting priorities mixed up. The well runs dry or the water becomes rancid without the refreshment of the water of life.

We pray that this Christmas will be a time of refreshment for all who read this. We pray that all our people will gather around the Word this season and thereafter to receive from the Father what He gives richly and daily in His Word–the precious gift of forgiveness and the confident hope of everlasting life.

Giving is an essential exercise of the Christian life. Giving itself gives joy of heart. But it costs. Receiving costs nothing. May the Spirit help you that in all the giving of this season, you do not give up time and opportunity to receive. Before everything else, receiving what your Heavenly Father gives you in His Word brings joy to His heart and blessing to yours.

–Pastor Daniel Fleischer