By: Rev. Jacquelyn Simmons
Scripture: And he gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. That we hence forth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. This I say therefore, and testify in the lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind. And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Selected passages from Ephesians 4).
My friends, every year before the time calendared for the celebration of the birth of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ, we are bombarded by merchants tempting us to purchase Christmas gifts early in order for them to bask in great sales bonanzas. They pretend to promote so-called block buster sales to entice weak minded shoppers to abandon their family gatherings in order to reap their so-called low cost items. They may actually have one or two low priced items on sale as bait, but they hurriedly announce their having sold all of them earlier. By that time, they have fooled their customers out there knowing that many of them will purchase other items which have been highly priced above normal. This servant of God remembers when the only establishments open on Sundays were churches. Christmas decorations were focused on the nativity. But now, homes and businesses are emblazoned with myriads of cold lights with a few displays of the mythical character Santa Claus. Children are being lied to by parents, the news media and some churches and taught that the false idol character, Santa Claus, brings them Christmas gifts instead of truthfully telling them that God provides those (parents) with the monies to purchase their gifts. Some of them expect so called Santa to enter their homes through a chimney. Most of them do not have chimneys in their homes. Lord, please forgive us!