by Stephen Whitney

This content is part of a series.

Gifts For Worship (2 of 4)
Series: Advent
Stephen Whitney
Matthew 2:11

Prison Fellowship is Christian ministry started by Charles Colson
which ministers to inmates. During the Christmas season they have a program called Angel Tree which gives gifts to the children
of inmates. These gifts are given in the name of the parent as a reminder that mom or dad still loves them even though they can't
be with them. The volunteers share the Gospel with every child,
telling them of God's love for them.

A few years ago five inmates from a Las Vegas prison raised money for the Angel Tree program and a prison escort drove them to the local Wal-Mart store. They began searching for the hottest toy that year which was the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
There was just one left. The men grabbed it and they continued shopping for other gifts. A few minutes later they noticed that someone had stolen the Power Ranger out of their cart.

The inmates were outraged. "Nobody steals from us!" they declared. With the help of the store manager, they recovered the toy and the manager warned the inmates to keep a sharp eye on their possessions. Why? Because there were so many criminals
hanging around the store at Christmas.

The custom of giving gifts goes back to the Roman festivals where people gave food, small items of jewelry, candles and statues of gods. When people became Christians they continued to give gifts to one another because of the example of the wise men who gave special gifts to Christ.

One of the challenges we face when buying gifts for people is finding the right gift for the right person. We want to match the gift to person so that the gift is meaningful and useful. Often
we give a gift because it is something the person needs or is
something they want.

Early Christian tradition gave descriptions of the Magi who brought gifts to Christ. The first is said to have been Melchior,
an old man with white hair and a long beard who offered ...

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