Christmas. What an encompassing word containing the pivotal message of hope. God loved us so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus, so we would not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (Paraphrased) It also because of His love that we celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th.
The meaning of Christmas is different for individuals, families, religions, and countries. The Free On-line Dictionary defines it as:
1.A Christian feast celebrated on December 25th
2. A Christ festival
3. from Old english, CrIstemaesse; Christ’s Festival
What memories do you recall from your childhood that fit this definition? Would you describe the gift of God’s Son born as a baby in Bethlehem? If you would venture to ask a group of people in a shopping center this question, it is likely some of the answers would have nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas.
People might say Christmas is about getting together with your family to exchange gifts.
Parents might say Christmas is about surprising their children with gifts from “Santa”
Still others might say it is a time of year when we celebrate at parties with eating and drinking.
Perhaps you might even hear a “Ba Humbug” among the answers.
If we look further into the celebrations of Christmas many countries have, a common thread is gift giving. In this great United States of America, great because it is so blessed by God, many gather together in families, at places of work, churches and communities celebrating the season with gift giving as well.
“It is more blessed to give than to receive,” the apostle Paul said in Acts 20:35.
If we look at the words of John Greenleaf Whittier below, we might be inspired to be blessed everyday.
Somehow, not only for Christmas,
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing,
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart’s possessing,
Returns to you glad.
John Greenleaf Whittier
We can take the gift of the message of salvation and forgiveness of sins we received to others that have not yet received Christ. Jesus is the best gift of all.