First Gift Sunday, December 2, 10:45 a.m.

On Sunday, December 2, we will have an opportunity to give the “First Gift” of the season to honor our faith and the ministry here at LABC. This gift is not part of our pledge for the yearly budget; this gift is over and above anything that we have pledged or will pledge.“ First Gift” envelopes will be available for the monetary gifts and we are asking the children to bring small wrapped baby gifts as part of this tradition.

If I asked how many of you had already bought your first gift(s), I imagine most of you would reply in the affirmative. I know I have already shopped some, and I even have some friends that have already wrapped their gift! Now that is the gift of being organized!            
Who are these gifts for?...people we love and care about! We want to show them our love through gifts that will honor them and make them happy on this special day called Christmas.                
We can honor Jesus and show that we love him through our  “First Gift”!  Just a few years ago we introduced a new tradition into our Christmas season called “First Gift” – indicating that we make our first Christmas gift to God.  Since we have spent a lot of time thinking and deciding on some personal gifts, let’s take some time to think about the gift we want to give to His ministry here at Lexington Avenue Baptist Church.                 
In the book of Exodus we find that God’s people were given three specific times to bring gifts to God:  The Feast of Unleavened Bread ( the month they were led out of Egypt), Feast of Harvest ( when crops were sown), and Feast of Ingathering ( gathering the crops from the field).  And the people were told…” Bring the best of the firstfruits ….to the house of the Lord your God”  Ex. 23:19.  In the New Testament we know Jesus, as a boy, was taken to Jerusalem on a feast day and later found in the temple conversing with the rabbis.  His parents had brought  their best offerings to honor God.                
Of course, as we think about gifts and offerings, we, as Christians, must think of the most valuable and loving gift we have ever received – the gift of salvation through Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  That gift from God is the actual reason we celebrate Christmas. May God find our “firstfruits” pleasing and acceptable, blessing us and His ministries in ways we cannot even imagine.  

--Judee Vanderpool