We can all tell stories about great gifts we have given and received at Christmas, and let’s be honest. There are few things that impact us as greatly as giving or receiving that perfect gift. Yet, Christmas didn’t begin with bows and wrapping paper. Christmas began in a manger as a young woman gave birth to her first son, Jesus, who would be called Emmanuel – God with us. Though we were made to live in relationship with God, we were separated from Him by our own disobedience. From the days of Adam and Eve, there was a distance between God and humankind. That distance was bridged perfectly on that one night in a manger when God came to be among us again so that one day we could be with Him for all eternity. You see, Christmas began when God gave us the greatest gift of all. He gave us His presence.

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