Christmas is finally here! Whether you’re traveling, working, or spending time with loved ones today, I trust that you are able to keep your focus on the true meaning of Christmas, while enjoying every second of it.
For some, the meaning of Christmas is watching the story of the Mean One of Christmas, a.k.a. the Grinch. For others, the meaning of Christmas is rooted in lots of family traditions revolving around food, movies, gift giving, and decorating. There are lots of wonderful things to do year after year, but sometimes I wonder if they distract us from the true meaning of Christmas. How can we make sure we are not distracted, and that we are seeing the real significance of Christmas?
My dad gave me a mental image to help explain to me the significance of Christmas. He describes it as one of two bookends holding up all the stories and teachings of Jesus’ life on earth – the other bookend being Jesus’ death and resurrection. If one of those bookends is missing, the stories and teachings of Jesus’ life seem to fall over flat.
It’s also easy for us to miss the true meaning of Christmas, because it’s such a familiar story. In the book of John, we read these words,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believed in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NIV)
Sometimes when I read that verse, I read through it at about 90 mph. I forget to slow down and think about what is really being said. Just reading those first nine words is incredible: “For God so loved the world that he gave.” When you stop and think about those words, it sheds a whole new light on the verse. Those nine words help us to focus on the Giver, rather than jumping straight to the gift. We know that God gave us his only Son, we know that God loves us, we know that God wants us to be with him for eternity, but we tend to forget about the Giver. Christmas is the perfect opportunity for Christians to show the world what celebrating the Giver really looks like!
The true meaning of Christmas can only be found when we focus on how much of a Giver God is. Christmas answers the questions we have about how much God loves us and about how far he would go to show us his love for us. That is what gets me excited about Christmas and makes me want to go out and tell everyone all about him and what he’s done for us.
God, the Greatest Giver, wanted us to be able to see, and touch, and get to know His greatest gift, so that we would want to have a relationship with Him.
We know that, because of this gift, we have the opportunity to spend all of eternity with God in His Kingdom. God giving us His only Son was the most selfless gift and the biggest sacrifice that has even taken place. Jesus Christ was, is, and will forever be the Ultimate Gift. The more we understand that God wanted us to have the opportunity to touch and know Him, the more we will want to know Him and make Him known.
Christmas is such an awesome opportunity to witness what we know about the Son of God and how we got to know Him as Savior. Keeping Christ in Christmas needs to be more than a slogan. It should be the very heartbeat of everything we do when we celebrate Christmas. When we received the gift of Christ, we received so much more than anything the world could ever offer. We have been given this greatest gift freely, so that we could give it to others freely, too.
While you’re celebrating this wonderful holiday with your family and friends, I encourage you to take several moments to read God’s Word and to thank him for the gift he gave us so many years ago. His love for us is a love so strong that he would sacrifice his only Son so that we could be with Him. As you celebrate Christmas and enjoy your Christmas traditions, don’t forget the true Giver of Christmas. Spend time thanking God for being the Giver and for His gift to us. Take the time to go out and show that same love to others so that they might see God’s light shine through you and choose to follow Him, too.
Celebrating the Giver, as well as the Gift, this Christmas