Christ is Not in Short Supply

The following article, written by Pastor Thomas Cowell, originally appeared
in the November 25th edition of the Kossuth County Advance.  
Last year’s buzzword around the Thanksgiving table – whether that was a physical or virtual table – was, no doubt, Covid.  While the pandemic continues to be a hot topic of conversation, a new and somewhat related buzzword might just take its place this Thanksgiving: supply-chain!

As eager shoppers map out their Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday game plan in an effort to get all the Christmas gifts crossed off their list, a new obstacle stands in their way.  We’ve always had to deal with heavy traffic and long lines during the holidays.  There is also the problem of finding that perfect gift for your hard-to-please family member.  On top of all those issues, this year all of us amateur economists and logisticians are also closely watching, waiting, and fretting about America’s stalled supply chain.  Will my gift make it out of port?  Will my gift make it on the truck?  Will my gift make it into my shopping cart or onto my front porch? How much more will all of this cost?  What if the gifts I want to buy are simply unavailable this year?

Before you let supply chain issues ruin your Thanksgiving and holiday season, remember these two simple yet important facts about the Advent and Christmas holiday we are about to enter.  First, remember that gifts do not make Christmas; Christ makes Christmas.  I am by no means an "anti-gifter".  Giving gifts is a great way to remind friends and family of the Christmas gift of our newborn Savior and to express our love and friendship toward them.  Even the magi brought the toddler Jesus “Christmas” gifts to honor him as Lord and King.  However, had the magi faced a major supply chain issue in the gold, frankincense, and myrrh market they still would have brought their joyful hearts to Bethlehem as they bowed down to worship Jesus – and that would have been enough.  If your favorite gift is not available in stores or online this year, that’s okay.  You still love your friends and you still love Jesus.  You can communicate these facts with or without gifts.

Secondly, while electronics, toys, and ugly sweaters might be stuck in a shipping container off the coast of California this December, remember that Christ is never in short supply.  In fact, the supply chain between Jesus and you couldn’t be more reliable.  You don’t have to worry about cargo ships or semi-trucks or store hours.  Any time you would like to receive Jesus you can fold your hands in prayer, open God’s Holy Word, remember your Baptism, hear the words of Holy Absolution and of preaching, and eat and drink the Lord’s Supper.  These gifts of God, especially as you receive them among the congregation of the saints, is your direct supply chain to Christ and His forgiveness, life, and salvation for you.  Free delivery.  No shortages.  No supply chain issues.  No delays.  This Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas season Christ our incarnate, crucified, and risen Savior is available and ready to deliver Himself to you: abundantly, often, and forever by faith in Him.  
“Behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).”      – Matthew 1:20-23
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Thomas Cowell