CHRISTMAS = GIFT GIVING
Christmas and gift giving go together. We hardly think of one without the other. Christmas is a time each year that brings taxing hours of busyness… baking, family celebrations, shopping and
giving of gifts on Christmas Eve.
Someone once asked me, “ What started this gift giving practice” as part of Christmas? What would your answer be?
Tradition? Business? Maybe they contribute, but we want to know the reason. Your immediate reply would probably be ”The Baby in the manger.” God’s Gift to men.
Some foundational thoughts can be found in the Bible when John shares God’s words with us in 3:16.
“For God so loved that He GAVE… His only Son…” .
That Gift, God’s Son, arrived on earth as a Baby, born of the Virgin Mary and named Jesus. His birth was announced on earth that night, by a heavenly Angelic Choir, to a group of surprised Shepherds.
Without doubt, Jesus was the greatest gift ever given, and the source of the Gift Giving tradition. We celebrate His Birthday every year, and call it Christmas.
We have other Special days in our calendar year also, but they are for one day only. Christmas…gets a whole month, with lights, decorations, parties, shopping, etc. So what made Christmas day so special, with it’s gift giving? I’m glad you asked.
Of course it is the result of God’s first PRICELESS GIFT, His own Son. The “TO” name on that Gift was: TO WHOSOEVER and that included YOU and ME. Special? You better believe it !!
But tell me WHY was this GIFT so great that it would be celebrated every year for over 2,000 years???
We carefully choose the gifts we give. Clothing, to dress up. A Gift Card, so you can choose your own. Maybe a Lap Top Computer for fun or education Toys of course, to entertain the kids.
The gift with our name on, however, is never ours until we take it as ours own. We are grateful for what we receive but next year we want something new and different. Surely not the same old thing dragged out and given again.
But God’s Gift is celebrated year after year…the same Gift and we never tire of it. Why?? Because it is not a thing to wear or use. God’s Gift is LIFE. Jesus, the Gift, came to us from heaven, as a Babe in a manger 2008 years ago. We are all acquainted with the manger scene. But we learned the Value of the Gift when Jesus gave His life, on Calvary’s Cross, in turn for ours..
Until that time, for humans to have fellowship with God, an Altar was built and a blood sacrifice (an animal) was offered for the forgiveness of sin. God’s Gift was the perfect Sacrifice, offered for us on the Altar of Calvary. The sacrifice of His Life made it possible for us to have fellowship with God, and opened our way to heaven. But like the gifts under the tree with our names on, we must take them as our own, open, enjoy and appreciate. So we must accept God’s Gift as our own, thank Him and appreciate what He has done for us. Don’t forget, His forever Gift counts for Eternity, not for a year or period of time. Remember, our name is on the Gift WHOSOEVER!
The question again: What started this gift giving practice?
Now we know. It was God’s Eternal Gift so very long ago. The Gift that is always available for Whosoever, needs, wants and will take it.
Since we are part of God’s WHOSOEVER ONES, we have the privilege of taking that Gift, making it ours for All Our Life, and for Eternity..
THANK YOU LORD FOR YOUR GREAT LOVE GIFT.
Elsie K. Young
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