Thursday was youth day at the annual Laymen’s League Pre-Christmas Services.
Josh Depoe, physical education teacher at Neosho Middle School, was the guest speaker, telling the group “What Christmas Means to Me.”
“When I found out the topic I was to speak on, ‘What Christmas Means to Me,’ the first thought to pop in my mind was gifts,” Depoe said. “Whether it was giving or receiving gifts, it didn’t matter. It seems every year growing up or even now there is always a gift you really want. When I was in elementary school, I wanted a Jeep Power Wheels.”
He said he would see it on commercials and he knew he had to have one.
“Unfortunately, I never got one, but ironically last Christmas, my dad, the man who would not buy me a Power Wheels, gave my 2-year-old son one for Christmas,” Depoe said. “I told my dad he was only 20 years too late.”
Depoe asked those attending “What makes a gift special? What qualities do a great gift have?
“I think the best adjective for the perfect gift is indescribable,” he said. “A gift so grand you can’t describe it.”
Depoe posed two questions to the Thursday group, with the first being “Have you ever received an indescribable gift?”
“As I look back over the years, and the gifts I received, one Christmas stands out,” Depoe said. “I was 10. My sister and I woke up and started sorting through the presents. She had triple the gifts I did. I started to get upset because my parents always made the gifts even. My parents then told me to look behind the couch.”
There, he found an air hockey table.
“I was so happy, I literally played on that table until it stopped working,” he said. “It was indescribable.”
Depoe’s second question was, “Have you ever given a gift that’s considered indescribable?”
He told the group that he has been married for seven years and then spoke about he and his wife’s first Christmas together. He explained that he didn’t know what to get her.
“I decided to play it cool and listen to some things my wife said she wanted,” he said. “I could remember the comment, ‘I would really like to have a good can opener.’ So I was like ‘check.’ Then she would make a comment about needing bag clips, ‘check two.’ Then she said something about house slippers for the winter – ‘check three.’”
Page 2 of 2 - On Christmas morning, it was time to unwrap their gifts.
“My wife unwrapped a can opener, a set of bag clips and some house shoes,” Depoe said. “I unwrapped an Ipod… I would have to say that my gift to my wife was the complete opposite of indescribable. How do I know that? Well my wife told me as much and I’m still reminded of it today. To my defense, we still use the bag clips and the can opener.”
Depoe then spoke of God’s gift to us, as described by the apostle Paul in the second book of Corinthians.
“Paul writes, ‘thanks be unto God for his indescribable gift,’” Depoe said. “Well Paul is talking about God’s gift of Jesus. Paul uses the word indescribable. He chooses this word because of what Jesus’ purpose is. The angels in the Christmas story in Luke say it the best: ‘Unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a savior which is Christ the Lord.’
“God knew there would never be peace on earth until sin was accounted for,” he said. “Not until man’s hearts were changed. Not until our minds were reformed and renewed. Therefore, God knew we needed a savior. Just like when my parents knew that I needed a new pair of jeans for Christmas or how my kids know that I want a new Jayhawk shirt this year, God knew I needed a savior. God knew you needed a savior. He knew our greatest need.”
Depoe expressed the best part of God’s gift.
“The best part of God’s gift is it doesn’t cost a thing,” he said. “I don’t have to pay taxes or interest on it. I don’t have to wait in line to receive it. I don’t have to wait for special days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I don’t even have to unwrap it on Christmas morning. All we have to do is just accept it.”
In conclusion, he emphasized what Christmas means to him.
“It means celebrating that God gave us a gift words can’t describe,” Depoe said. “A gift that was meant to save me. A free gift for all of us. So as we go out this weekend and do some last minute shopping, looking for that perfect gift for someone special in your life… remember, the greatest gift you can receive this Christmas is Christ Jesus. A savior, which is Christ the Lord.”