A Season of Giving & Receiving
What’s the one thing we all love about Christmas? The presents, of course! Whether it’s giving or receiving them, gifts are often the central focus of the season – from what we will buy for others to what we want for Christmas. My kids had their wish lists up on the fridge this year before Thanksgiving, just in case something on their lists went on sale for Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
The truth is, we’ve become a society obsessed with the gift giving part of Christmas. And while it may sound completely materialistic, and you may think I’m about to say we’re going about it all wrong, would you believe me when I say that Christmas is actually all about a GIFT?
An UNDESERVING GIFT. That is what Christmas is all about.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.” Jesus is the Gift! Jesus is the reason we celebrate Christmas.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
– John 3:16-17
I could stop right here and not even go further, because there’s really not much more to say. God absolutely LOVES us so much that he wanted to give us the most precious thing he had – HIS SON.
So about 2,000 years ago, as the story goes, the Virgin Mary gave birth to a tiny baby and named him Jesus. I don’t have to tell the story because you’ve probably heard it, but have you ever just sat back and reflected on what it all means? The whole Jewish nation was waiting for this day – the day that their promised Messiah (Savior) would arrive and bring them hope and peace. And this day finally came – but not just for them, but for all of us – the WHOLE WORLD.
“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.”
– Corrie Ten Boom
Gifts are meant to be received.
When someone gives you a gift, what do you do with it? Do you look at it and walk away? Do you take it and shove it in the closet? No, you take it, you open it, you enjoy it! It was a gift freely given by someone who cared enough about you to give it to you.
Sadly, many people take the most important gift of all – God’s Son – and either flat out reject it or set it aside, as if it’s not a big deal. Friends, I’m here to tell you – IT IS A REALLY BIG DEAL!
Let me tell you a little more about this gift. It is a gift of life, of salvation, of freedom, of hope, of peace. It is a gift that is freely offered and all you have to do is receive it. I can say without restraint, that if all that I had in this world was taken from me, the gift of God is THE one thing that can never be taken away. There is nothing else in this world about which I can say that.
Keep giving and receiving.
This Christmas season, as you exchange gifts with your friends and family, remember why we do it. We give because of of the gift so freely given to us. We give because we love, and we love because He loved us first (1 John 4:19). Because of his love for us, He sent His son to save us, to give us hope, to give us a reason to live and to love.
This is the WHOLE reason why we celebrate Christmas. Without the gift of God’s son, we would not have a reason to celebrate. So go out and shop for your loved ones and enjoy the act of giving, and seeing their faces light up when they unwrap your gift. Enjoy it, and remember why we give.