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December 2018 Broadcaster

Share the Christmas Message!  

Toys “R” Us stores hit upon hard times with the advent of online shopping. However, when I was young, a Toys “R” Us store seemed like a child’s paradise. And I recall only one time as a kid actually stepping foot in a Toys “R” Us store.

It was Christmas Eve of 1990, I was in the seventh grade, and my family was returning home to St. Paul, Minnesota from our routine Christmas visit to my grandmother’s house in South Dakota. As we arrived back in town, we dropped off my big sister at her high-school job at Har-Mar Movie Theater. Then, my parents finished last-minute Christmas shopping.

That’s how I ended up at a Toys “R” Us store. Given that it was late on Christmas Eve, few stores were still open. Toys “R” Us closed at 6 p.m., so we only had 30 minutes to shop. My parents may have purchased something for either my sister or myself, but I don’t remember exactly what. Next, we made our way to what was assuredly the last stop for desperate and eleventh-hour Christmas shoppers – Walgreens, a store that never closes. I remember helping my dad pick out two things for my mom, a jewelry box and an orange juicer. She still has both to this day.

You might ask the question why a family would put off their Christmas shopping until the very last day. The truth is that my dad was studying for the ministry, and my parents just didn’t have the money to purchase gifts. 

Jesus didn’t come into this world to a rich family beyond measure. He arrived to live among us as a humble servant, to live a normal life filled with the pains and struggles that we as humans face. He knew hardship and would face the greatest suffering anyone would ever experience through the sacrifice He made on the cross.

Philippians 2:6-8 tells us, “who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” And while Jesus was on this earth, He ministered to both rich and poor, healthy and sick, and people from various backgrounds.

It is why Christ calls us in Matthew 28:19 to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” Worship Anew is reaching thousands with the message of His Word. The message of that baby coming into this imperfect world to live a perfect life and die on the cross for us sinners, who He loves so much. This is the message of Christmas. And this is why I’m asking you today for your support to share that message with so many through this important broadcast ministry.

I love thinking back on that story from 1990 shopping with my parents on Christmas Eve, not because of my mother’s jewelry box or orange juicer, but because of what we didn’t have. This was a sacrifice made by my parents in order to give to the Lord. Jesus sums this up in a parable, and one amazing sentence, found in Matthew 13:45-46, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” May the Christmas message, and the true reason for the season, be the greatest gift you’ll ever give.

Matthew Leighty is Executive Director of Lutheran Ministries Media.