Since 2022 is my first Christmas living in South Carolina, all of my usual traditions were replaced with a new one. At seven in the morning, I went over to my sister in laws to watch my three-year-old niece and daughter open up their stockings. The rest of the morning was spent watching Annie open up her Christmas presents while eating breakfast. As I was observing from a distance, my mind pondered, “what’s God’s Christmas gift to me?”
But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future], John 16:13.
As Jesus tried to prepare his disciples for his arrest and crucifixion during Passion Week, He spoke of how the spirit of Emmanuel would continue to live on following his departure. Jesus compared God’s presence to a counselor and spiritual guide. Although invisible like a Holy Ghost, God will announce and declare messages to you. Rather than place your trust in Amazon’s Alexa for knowledge or controlling your electricity, place your hope and trust in God’s Christmas gift for you.
For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [[d]full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). 4 By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature, 2 Peter 1:3-4.
According to Luke, a first century doctor and historian, Peter was present on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2:2-5. On this special day, Peter was overwhelmed by the power of the Holy Spirit. While writing 2 epistles known as Catholic Letters addressed to Christians scattered all over the world due to Nero’s persecution, Peter highlights what happens when you open up God’s Christmas gift for you. The Holy Spirit provides everything you need for life. Once you learn to separate yourself from the commercialism side of Christmas, may you have to faith to accept and embrace God’s gift to you, Romans 6:23.
by Jay Mankus