God gave us the ultimate gift of Jesus
Here’s a question we hear often this time of year: What do you want for Christmas?
Stores are running sales, children are writing wish lists and sending them to Santa Claus, and it seems like the whole world is running around looking for the perfect gift to give to someone.
I think this is a great idea.
Giving gifts at Christmas time is a fantastic and personal way to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
While some will decry the commercialization of the holiday season, I’m here to say that when you give a gift at Christmas time, you are right in line with the meaning and purpose of the celebration.
I love to give gifts at Christmas.
I give to my family and friends, and I look for ways to give meaningfully and generously to others as well.
Salvation Army kettles, FISH fundraisers, special projects at church or in the community – I love to be generous this time of year.
Why? Because it really is what Christmas is all about.
Not just giving people what they want, or feeding the greed of our consumeristic culture, but cultivating a generous heart.
We give because we have received so much.
Many believe that the tradition of gift giving at Christmas is from the wise men who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
While that may have played a part, I believe giving gifts truly reflects the deepest meaning of Christmas.
It reflects the greatest gift every given, the gift of a Rescuer, a Savior, the Messiah, the Christ.
The real story of Christmas is deeper than the story of the manger and the shepherds, the wise men and the star.
It’s really found in the words of Jesus: “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” John 3:16 (The Message)
Because of God’s love for us, He didn’t want us to continue to drift away from Him in our selfish, self-centered existence.
He loved us so much that He gave us a gift, the gift of His Son, Jesus, to be the way back to Him.
That gift is the best, most amazing, most expensive, most valuable gift ever given, and it was given to us.
The story of Christmas is the story of God’s love becoming real and available to each and every person because He loved us enough to give us Jesus.
Because He loved, He gave.
That’s why I give gifts at Christmas, to celebrate and honor the gift of love that God has given us in Jesus Christ.
So this Christmas, above all the noise, above all the action and activities, above all the shopping and shipping and buying and wrapping, remember this: God loved you so much He gave you His very best.
May that thought carry you through this season of generosity.
Pastor Bill McCready of LifePoint Church is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.