Ah, Christmas is almost upon us. If one more person asks me, "Bought all your gifts?" or "Done all your shopping?" I do believe I will scream! I am all for Christmas. I enjoy the excitment it brings children, I enjoy the Christmas specials, the church musicals, and the like. But just what are we doing, folks?
Once as I was putting my young daughter to bed, she asked a very profound question: "Dad, if Christmas is Jesus' Birthday, why do we give each other presents?" Hmm...Just what are we doing? Who is giving what, to whom?
Jesus is OUR gift from the Father, and through faith in Jesus we are given the gift of salvation. Even the faith which enables us to believe, is a gift from God.
Luke 2:11 (NIV) Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Ephesians 2:8 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Now you can say "okay David, what's the point?" Well, what does Jesus receive on His birthday (besides the gifts of gold, incense and myrrh given at His birth)? What can we give Jesus? Talk about not knowing what to give to someone Who has everything! Jesus has it all, except our hearts. Have you fully surrendered yourself to Him?
John 17:24 (NIV) Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
Believers in Jesus Christ are gifts to Jesus from the Father. We are Christ's presents. Thinking about this makes me want to pour out love to Christ.
John 14:3 (NIV) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Colossians 3:4 (NIV) When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Our hope and faith lie in the above verses; they hinge upon being with Jesus forever. Jesus is preparing a place for us in Heaven, but only if we believe in Him and accept Him as our Lord and Savior.
My prayer for my fellow believers this Christmas is that we will take seriously our role as gifts to Jesus from the Father, and that we will take seriously the awesome gift of eternal life with Jesus. He takes very good care of His gifts. During this Advent season, churches will be filled with non-believers. I pray that they will see Christ in us and want to investigate Christianity further. For those of you who are not quite sure about all this "accepting Jesus" stuff, or about Jesus being a gift and us being a gift to Him, my prayers are for you to keep hanging around the church, keep seeking Jesus, and keep looking at and investigating Christ.
So who is giving what, to whom? God gave us Jesus, Who through our faith and belief gives us eternal life -- which in turn gives us to Jesus. Sounds like Christmas to me! It sounds like exchanging gifts... but these gifts never die, rot, fade, go out of style or burn up; they last forever!
David Massey 12/15/1997