Enjoying the Journey
Shiny packages and suspense are part of the excitement at Christmas. Fascinating, isn’t it? We spend weeks buying the gifts (or one crazy day if you are like me) and in about 30 minutes it is all over! My grandma used to say, “It is just a big build up for a big let down.” Perhaps a little pessimistic, but very close to the truth.
Things change as we get older, but the fun of gift giving (and receiving) continues. Yesterday we celebrated with our family at home and on Christmas day we will do it all over again at my mom and dad’s house. Gift exchange has become more like a progressive dinner than an event!
To be sure, Christmas is much more than gifts. But even the gift exchange can be meaningful for a Christian.
1. Throughout history gifts have been exchanged among people who had something to celebrate (Nehemiah 8:10; Esther 9:19-22). No people on earth have more to celebrate than God’s people. Giving of gifts should be a time to celebrate God’s goodness to us. The world’s celebrations miss this vital truth. Every part of the believers life should be characterized by a spirit of worship. It is this attitude that truly makes holidays “holy days.”
2. Let every gift serve as a reminder of God’s gifts to us. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above; and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Our gifts are nothing compared to God’s mercy, grace, and love. We are blessed people! Keep this in perspective on Christmas morning. Selah.
3. Enjoy giving more than receiving. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Give cheerfully to all, and give generously to the needy. There is no joy quite like it. One of the marks of those who know the love of God is that they remember the poor. Don’t forget the needy all around you this Christmas.
My kids love gifts! I love gifts! God loves givers (2 Cor. 9:7). He is the greatest Giver of all. The Lord has given us life. He has given us eternal life. He longs to give us abundant life. What a Giver!
That is the message of Christmas. When you hand out the gifts, when you tear into the packages, when you hug those you love, breathe this prayer to God: “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Cor. 9:15).