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Home decorations have transitioned from pumpkins to turkeys, and now to snowmen and sparkly trees. Children of all ages treasure year-end holidays. Memories kindle warmth of glowing fires etched in our family and emotional rooms.

Churches celebrated Reformation and Thanksgiving. Advent’s expectation is that the Savior of the World is arriving! With décor changes, God’s people prepare their hearts to receive their King.

Mary, chosen to bear God’s son in the flesh, was told to get ready. After the angel’s visit, Mary exclaimed, “all generations will call me blessed; for He who is mighty has done great things for me! Mary recognized the Giver and Gift.

“[God’s] good things are merely gifts, which last for a season; but His grace and regard are the inheritance, which lasts forever … the grace of God is eternal life, 1 ” wrote Martin Luther.

Year-end preparations include planning and arranging. Many organize their lives getting ready for what lies ahead. What else can we put in order besides tangible and perishable presents that adorn our Christmas trees and represent our human love?

Martin Luther also said, “God would not have [us] put [our] trust in His goods and gifts, spiritual or temporal, however great they be, but in His grace and in Himself, yet without despising the gifts. 2

The time-based clutter of life pulls us toward temporal concerns. Statistics indicate that less than 10% of Americans have included a charitable gift in their estate plans. One reason might be due to an uncomfortable visit with an attorney.

Have you considered allowing a fellow LCMS Gift Planning Counselor as a trustworthy guide to help you to prepare for expressing the enduring intent of your faith and love?

  1. Martin Luther, “The Sermon on the Mount and the Magnificat” in Luther’s Works (Concordia Publishing House, 1956), XXi, 324.
  2. Martin Luther, “The Sermon on the Mount and the Magnificat” in Luther’s Works (Concordia Publishing House, 1956), XXi, 325.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit, call (970) 988-0305 or email .