Christmas is here! It’s time to rejoice! Yet it doesn’t often feel that way. Busy, busy, busy we are. Working so hard to have a perfect Christmas. One that our friends and family will enjoy. That’s a good thing isn’t it? After all we are thinking of them, aren’t we? Maybe that’s the problem. Sometimes my head is too wrapped up in how I’m going to get the right gift. Holy Spirit showed me how this way of thinking is really counter productive. It seems like a good thing, but in reality, I’m just setting myself up to be disappointed. Just think about it for a minute. How many times have you tried so hard to get that perfect gift for that special person just to see the lack of enthusiasm on their face when they open it? Leaving you to feel like you failed. Then it’s like someone just pulled the plug on your joy as you watch it very quickly go down the drain. Maybe this doesn’t describe you, but someone else you know. It’s just one example of many that can suck the fun and joy right out of the holidays. But, doesn’t have to be that way.
I love to drive by signs at Churches that say things like, “Put Christ back into Christmas, the reason for the season.” But, how can we do that amongst everything else that’s going on and needs to be done? By being intentional about it. For me that means setting aside some time at home with the good book, and asking the Lord to speak to me about it. Then He does. I reflected on Christmas and why we celebrate it. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son...” John 3:16. The reason is clearly stated here, love, He so loved us. He wants us to know how much He loves us. How much He wants to be with us and that He is willing to take that first step. Even if it means leaving His home in heaven to come to the earth that He created to be born in a stable. Make His entry, not as the glorious, powerful King He is, but humbly as a helpless child, in the flesh through His Son Jesus. To be born not in a mansion, but in a dirty stable and to be laid in a trough. Amazing! Emanuel, which means, God with us. That is something to rejoice about. God came to be with us, with you and with me. We’ve discovered that love is the motive, but what was the purpose? “… that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16,17. God gave of Himself, His very best to save us from ourselves.
Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, “if you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you “Give me a drink”, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10. Jesus knew he was the true gift of God. A gift that does not perish, but brings everlasting life to all who want to receive Him. A perfect Christmas is not about finding the right gift, but about sharing the perfect gift that I and many others have already received, with the people in our lives. Jesus is the gift that keeps on giving! Let's not just keep it to ourselves, let's share this divine gift that has come from above. Because He first gave, we too can give and there is such fulfillment in that.
With all my heart and my soul what I really want for Christmas is for everyone to know the real reason for the season and to rejoice in the beautiful wonderful gift that God has given us. Rejoice means to have joy, delight, be belated or ecstatic or to be beside oneself with joy like being on cloud nine. Reflect on the One true Holy God coming down to be with you this Christmas. If you haven’t yet, receive the gift He has for you, forgiveness through Jesus, so you can rejoice, because he is here with you. He has come to meet you right where you are at.
My prayer for you this Christmas is that you would rejoice in the reason for the season Jesus. As we shop for gifts can we remember God's gift, and not just keep it and hold onto it ourselves but share the joy that it brings. It is the greatest gift that's ever been given. God has given us that precious gift there's nothing greater, nothing better that can ever match it. We don't need to go into debt and borrow money to give gifts. The best gift you can ever give or receive, is a relationship with the Savior of the world. Let's remember to reflect and celebrate God’s extravagant gift with our families and friends this Christmas and may your joy be filled in the process. Merry Christmas!