Christmas gifts

Christmas gifts

Who will I give gifts to? It is that time of year! I know Christmas isn’t as much about the gift-giving here in Japan, but this is one obvious opportunity I see to share my faith with my friends. It could be helpful to any of you who may be looking to do the same. So, here is what I am doing. I first made a list of people I wanted to give gifts to. How do people make the cut? I first chose all co-workers. I thought it would be difficult to sneakily give my “favorite” co-workers gifts only. So that is 8 people. For the girls, tea. For two of the guys, british biscuits. For two of the other guys, nuts. And for my boss and his wife; a bath kit and (still undecided for my boss). Everything is wrapped in Christmas wrapping. I had that done easily at the store (for free!).  For my Japanese teachers, it was easy since there are only 3 of them and I feel very close to them. I’ll (soon get) a grocery store sized bag of miscellaneous individually wrapped chocolates. I’ve purchased already cute Christmas bags. Then I’ll fill the bags with chocolates for them. For my church family, I’ve picked out two of my closest friends there to give gifts to. Probably the same chocolate bags. Then, for my pastor and his wife, I purchased a bath kit for her and still undecided for my pastor. Lastly, my foreign friends. Just in the last month I’ve become closer to two of my friends from Japanese class. So, I’ll be sure to share with them a chocolate bag also. The most important thing that I want to add to each of these gifts in this picture. On one side is my family Christmas card. We took that before I left for my trip and it goes out every year to our family and friends. I had them printed at the local Lawson (convenience store) believe it or not and it was so simple! Then, there also I printed the back side graphic on regular paper in color. The graphic has a child-like illustration of the manger scene in the bottom and there is a message from me on it. What it says, basically, is why I am giving this gift to them (in Japanese). I figure it is the perfect opportunity. It says why “Americans” give gifts at Christmas – which is because that is what the wise men brought to Jesus at his birth. See, even though Jesus is in Heaven now, we can give to Him by giving to others. And it shares a little more on that topic. If it is of any use to you, please feel free to copy and paste my message. This probably isn’t my last post before Christmas, but Merry Christmas! Here it is: クリスマス・プレゼント>  アメリカでは、クリスマスの季節に3つの贈り物をする習慣があります。> 聖書には、イエス様がベツレヘムの家畜小屋でお生まれになったとき、東方から来た3人の博士たちは、お生まれになった赤ちゃんのイエス様に、黄金(ゴールド)、乳香(にゅうこう)、没薬(もつやく)を贈ったのです。>  これらは次のような意味があります。黄金は、まことの王の王であることを表しています。乳香は、ユダヤ人たちが尊い神を礼拝するときに高価な香水として使いました。没薬は、死んだ人の匂い消しとして使われました。>  聖書で最も知られている言葉、「神は、実に、そのひとり子(イエス・キリスト)をお与えになったほどに世(私たち)を愛された。それは御子を信じる者が一人として滅びることなく、永遠のいのちを持つためである。』(ヨハネの福音書3章16節)>  2000年前に、神は私たちのすべての罪を赦すために、私たちの身代わりとして十字架にかかって死なれました。それは、私、そしてあなたが永遠のいのちを持って新しく生きるために、生まれたのがイエス様です。私は、このイエス様、私の罪のために死んでくださったと信じています。クリスマスおめでとうございます!>  ジャクリーン

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