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Mark 4:18-19, Luke 11:9-13, Rom 12:1-2, and Rev 18:11-13 form the background for this message entitled CPR: Christmas Presents Revisited.  It is called CPR because there are plenty of Christians in America who are caught up in the consumer culture, which is a dangerous place to be, and CPR just might bring them back from the brink of death — though some will prove to be those sown among thorns where the word is choked by the deceitfulness of riches and desires for other things.  The exchange of Christmas presents is a huge part of the normal family budget and for the Christian caught up in this that means less to give to the work of God’s mission.  We need to remember that Christmas is not about our kids or about exchanging presents but about Christ.  We need to teach our children that it is only truly a gift when there is no expectation of return and that Jesus said, “sell your possessions and give to the needy” (Luke 12:33).  And we should want our children to light up at the gospel and not because they have gotten stuff.  This is not a call to do away with the American tradition of Christmas, just a reminder to avoid consumerism and conformity to this world and to keep all of these things in proper proportion in our lives, and to ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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