I love the gift element of the Christmas season.
I love when my family updates their wish list so I can see what they want to receive this year. I love shopping up and down the aisles in search of that perfect gift. I love taking it off the shelf, paying for it, bringing it home and wrapping it.
I look forward with anticipation to their reaction when they receive it on Christmas. It brings me joy to know that my efforts will fill a need in their life or provide them with delight.
Yes - I’m slightly gift crazy!
There’s nothing wrong with the gift aspect of Christmas. In fact, the true meaning of Christmas is all about a gift. It’s the most amazing, incredible, unthinkable, counterintuitive, life-altering gift that could ever be given.
It’s a gift unlike any gift that humanity has ever given or received.
Think about the gifts we exchange: a toy, a useful household item, a ticket to a concert, a voucher to a restaurant. We use it, it serves some purpose, it brings some pleasure, but eventually it runs out or breaks.
The ultimate Christmas gift was not like any of those gifts. At the first Christmas, something radical happened: The Gift was the Giver.
God knew that our need as sinners was so profound and that our pain and suffering in this fallen world was so deep and inescapable, that the only thing he could give us was himself.
The only gift that could save us was not a toy or a tool or a service or a voucher. It had to be God himself.
Could you imagine gifting yourself to someone this year? It wouldn’t make any sense! But Christmas is about God gifting himself to us.
The Gift is the Giver.
Jesus gave himself because he was the only one that could solve our eternal problem. He came as the gift that would live the life that we could never live, die the death that we should have died, and rise again conquering sin and death so that we could have life – both everlasting life and abundant life, right here, right now.
This Christmas, you can be a little gift crazy. Get excited about opening your presents. Delight in giving others their gifts. Have fun using what you receive.
But don’t forget the true meaning of Christmas gifts. And remind those whom you love about what gift giving symbolizes.
Christmas is all about a gift, and the Gift is the Giver.
Paul David Tripp
Christmas Action Steps
Here are two ways that you can celebrate and share that the Gift is the Giver:
- Make this Christmas in your home more about the spiritual than the material. Of course, you can give gifts and enjoy material things, but talk about the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus at every opportunity.
- Make a list of the people in your life who don’t yet know the Lord - neighbors, co-workers, the person who serves you regularly at the grocery store or dry cleaners, etc. Surprise them a Christmas gift this year and see what doors open up to talk to them about life and Jesus.