Only five more shopping days left till Christmas! Our local paper has three times the volume of advertising copy as news and community information. We are kept apprised on the radio that Walmart is 0.8% ahead of last years sales pace, and that the average family spends X number of dollars per person on Christmas. The season give us a stark look at how we have become a consumer society without which the economy would collapse. And yet in the midst of it all our Lord seeks to say “I am giving to you the most valuable gift you could ever possibly receive. It is a gift that changes your life now and for eternity. It is a gift that will never grow old or wear out. And it is absolutely free of all cost to you. I have paid the price in full.” Forget all the slogans about keeping Christ in Christmas. He can never be removed in any event. Go buy your gifts. Try not to go into debt, or spend more than you can afford. But above all focus your heart on the only gift that really matters, The gift you have received that was wrapped in a straw filled Bethlehem manger.