Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Greatest Christmas Gift of All Time

Hebrews 13:5
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Each year this season gets more and more frustrating for me. I look around and wonder how Jesus could ever be pleased with the way we celebrate His birth. His house is empty while the stores are full. While the P.A. systems in the stores play songs about peace and joy, the people trample each other trying to get more stuff, bigger and better stuff. This has become a season of gluttony and greed instead of a time to reflect on the gift that was given to us about 2000 years ago. We look around at others and wonder why they have more than us, while still others are looking at us and wondering the same thing. Whatever you have, there is someone out there who has less and is happy with what they have.

God the Son, the Creator and Ruler of all that is, set aside all of it and humbled Himself to come live as one of us. He didn’t come as a great king in a golden palace, but rather chose to come as a little baby. He wasn’t even born to anyone rich and powerful, but chose to be born to a poor family who couldn’t even provide a decent place for Him to be born. He was born in a stable and laid in a dirty old feed trough. I can’t imagine a more humble beginning for any baby, but my Lord chose to endure that for me. So much emphasis is placed on the suffering He endured at His trial and crucifixion, but I believe His suffering started the second He came into this world, and didn’t stop until He ascended back into Heaven. Even if He had chosen to be born to a rich family and have all the best that this world can offer, He would have still been suffering compared to what He had before coming here.

We get so caught up in the excitement and anticipation of Christmas and wondering what we’re going to get that we forget what we’ve already got. Jesus gave us the only Christmas present we’ll ever need, and it doesn’t wear out or break, but instead of reflecting on that and giving Him the praise and thanks that is due Him we run ourselves into debt buying a bunch of junk, most of which won’t last until next Christmas. Instead of teaching our kids about Jesus and His eternal gift, we take them to sit on the lap of an impostor and ask him for whatever the latest and greatest thing is that they’ll break by the time they get it out of the box. Jesus gave everything for us, but there are still a lot of people who don’t know that. Wouldn’t it be a much more fitting way to celebrate His birth if we took this time to put others ahead of ourselves and tell them about the Christmas gift Jesus has for them?

Philippians 2:3-11
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

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