Christmas is a season of giving, which is why retailers love this time of the year. Wall Street nervously measures the economic impact of the holiday season. Are the numbers up or down? Are people buying more or less? Thanksgiving quickly gives way to Black Friday followed by Cyber Monday. All of the consumer mayhem threatens to consume us until Giving Tuesday—the global day dedicated to giving back—arrives and attempts to reign in the commercialization of Christmas. All of the gift giving can become a wearisome task.
Let’s all take a deep breath and remember that we give gifts to one another because “God so loved the world that he gave” (John 3:16). God is the best giver and the most generous being in the universe. And we, His children by faith in Jesus Christ, are never more like Him than when we give joyously and generously.
On the first Christmas two thousand years ago, Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ Child who was born in Bethlehem. They ignored threats of political correctness from Herod the despot and brought their best gifts to the newborn King.
This Christmas, wrap your thoughts around four gifts God gives to us at Christmas: love, joy, peace, and hope. Each expresses itself uniquely at the time of Jesus’s birth. The beauty of the incarnation is that the abstract becomes reality. Unconditional love, exuberant joy, real peace, and transformative hope are wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.
For example, there’s no better time to talk about the love of God than at Christmas. Christmas is God’s love wrapped in human flesh and in swaddling cloths. The Bible says, “The Word became flesh and dwelled among us” (John 1:14).
God’s love at Christmas sounds like a baby’s cry and the voice of many angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest.” God’s love appeared in an unexpected place and to astonished teenage parents. The odds makers would have placed their money on Jerusalem not Bethlehem as the place where Messiah was born. And who would have ever dreamed up a virgin birth but God?
God's love at Christmas or any other time of the year is incomprehensible (Ephesians 3:14-19), immeasurable (Ephesians 3:18; John 3:16), inseparable (Romans 8:38-39), and unconditional (Deuteronomy 7:7).
This Christmas, remember this above all things: You are loved.