Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Very Special Day

And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.   Matthew 1:21

This is the day, the day kids (and grownups) have been waiting for.  Christmas Day.  In living rooms all over the world wrapping paper, ribbons and bows will be flying.  Stockings will be un-stuffed and family holiday feasts will commence.  Love and laughter, probably seasoned with a little bit of strife here and there, will ring through the air.

Every year Christmas means something different to me as my life changes.  Kids grow up and it becomes less and less about Frosty, Rudolph and gifts and more and more about the deeper meanings associated with Christmas.  Things like the soft glow of the Christmas tree, my whole family together, and the sweet traditions that really make Christmas meaningful and different than the rest of the year. 

This year I have thought so much more about the things I have that cannot be wrapped up with pretty paper and bows and put under the tree.  My Savior, my family, my church family, and wonderful friends.  These gifts that God gives are so much more valuable and mean so much more than any material possession.

Gifts from Above
God gave us a very special gift in the form of a baby on this day.  But this baby was no ordinary baby.  He symbolized much more.  Grace, Mercy, Forgiveness, Compassion, Peace, Salvation, Love, and so much more were all wrapped up in that little gift that was lying in the manger.  God gave us so much when He sent His son, Jesus.  Of course He gave us eternal salvation, but grace, mercy and forgiveness I need on a daily basis.  I am such an unworthy creature – sinful, selfish, and such – that I surely do not deserve these gifts from Almighty God. 

But herein lies the beauty of a gift.  It is unselfishly and sacrificially given, no matter what.  A true gift is unconditional, as is true love like the love God has for us.  These gifts are the ones I am clinging to this year.  The amazing and unending love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, compassion, salvation, and peace is where the true and greatest gift of Christmas lies, and the “Great Gifter” wrapped them in the most beautiful wrapping of all, a sweet baby who will save His people from their sins. 

How about you?  Have you received the greatest gift of all?  It is a whole package in one – Jesus Christ as Savior.  Make this Christmas Day more meaningful than all the ones gone before.  Reflect on what you have that is not under the tree and if you haven’t received the greatest gift of all, what better day than this day?

One more thing…No matter how festive the season, no matter how Christmas-y it is all around you, it is not really Christmas unless it is Christmas in y our heart.  This year has been very Christmas-y, with REAL glove, hat, scarf, and sweater weather.  There have been Christmas carols and parties and wonderful, seasonal events at church with friends that are like family.  But it may have all been in your peripheral vision.  If you haven’t felt the spirit of Christmas like you should, maybe you have not focused on the manger.  Maybe you have been consumed with circumstances and the trials of life.  Don’t let your focus get off and steal the true joy and meaning of Christmas from you. 

Scripture to Claim:

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God… Ephesians 2:8

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