The true meaning of Christmas

I had the opportunity to really look at the reason for the season this Christmas. I took an in depth look at the reality of what we as “Christians” would say is the truth and I asked the question – Are we really celebrating Christmas with the right intent, the right heart, and the right perspective? I would submit with the statistics showing that over 14 million American’s are still paying for their Christmas purchases in 2010, and that I am sure many of that 14 million are Christians, that the answer to the question above would be a resounding “NO”.

If you would allow me to make my point – As Christians we acknowledge December 25 as the day set aside to celebrate the birth of Christ, hence it’s His birthday. What happens on a birthday? You got it, the birthday boy or girl gets gifts. I know if I was celebrating my birthday and everyone who came had a gift for everyone but me I would be a bit put out! How many of us made purchases that would be perceived by the birthday boy as a gift to Him? What would a gift to Him look like? I have some ideas and here is your opportunity to compare the gifts you bought to the gifts I am getting ready to identify.
1.       The gift of forgiveness. Who has harmed you or hurt your feelings and you have failed to forgive that person? The reality is you are so angry with that person, whether you realize it not it, they are succeeding in continuing to rob you of your joy and worse they keep you in bondage. So not only does this gift free the person who wounded you but more importantly it frees you and allows you to move on.

2.       The gift of joy. Who is down and out? Who is feeling lonely and abandoned? Who is without hope? Maybe someone incarcerated, in a group home, in a homeless shelter, a convalescent home, or simply someone who is a stranger on the street, could use a moment from you that would bring them joy, light in a dark world. This gift exemplifies the scripture that reminds us when you’ve done for the least of these you’ve done for Christ.
3.       The gift of love – unconditional. This gift can be shown in many ways one tangible way is by providing resources that drip from a genuine heart of love and not condemnation. It might be groceries for someone you know has been laid off, helping someone to pay their rent who you know simply doesn’t have the resources right now to make those ends meet. It might be helping someone pay for their utility bills or other areas of need. This gift of love might be giving them simply a warm handshake (a hand transfer of money) because God has blessed you so that you have a harvest, an overflow to bless someone.

4.       The gift of time. Maybe there are some seniors or single individuals where your time would bless them immensely. Tending to their lawn, helping fix things around the house, taking care of minor maintenance issues with vehicles, fixing some meals, watching their children or aging parent are a few ways you could give of your time.

These are just a few ideas but I am sure you get the point. One interesting thing about these gifts is that none of them put you in debt, cause you to be grumpy, force you to deal with long lines, make you deal with rude people, there are no gifts to return because you don’t like them and in return you receive such joy and love and satisfaction that someone was blessed by you on behalf of the One who made it all possible.
Another facet about this season that we should reflect on it that Jesus is not the reason for season unless you view the season as one who say “thank you” 365 days of year. We should not be nicer, more benevolent, and happier only in December. People need to receive from us on a regular basis. The scripture reads that “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” This love is a selfless love, this love is a compassionate love, this love is humble love, and this love is meant to give hope, joy, love, and kindness all year long.

So when celebrating the birth of Christ, celebrate it with the right intent, the right heart, and the right perspective. Happy Birthday Jesus and Thank you!!

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