Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. (NKJV)
Commercialism and materialism have attacked our Christian values. At Christmas, a walk through the shopping malls gives ample evidence of this statement. Nothing is displayed that portrays the real meaning of Christmas.
As a child in a family of nine, I considered myself very lucky if I received a colouring book and crayons, and doubly lucky if there was a doll under the tree for me. Our stockings were not like those of today, which are massive and overstuffed. Mine happened to be one of my brown ribbed stockings that I had to wear to school. There was always an orange in the toe, a few nuts, and a few candies. My brothers and I were happy to receive these treasures.
Have you been as guilty as I was of trying to give my children more than I had received at Christmas, thinking I was making things better for them? It seems like each generation tries to go one better than their parents, giving more and more in material things. In our greed, we have created a generation of materially-minded people.
Christmas will soon be here again, that beautiful season of the year when we Christians celebrate the great gift of God — the gift of his only begotten Son, the gift of salvation.
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV)
The dictionary defines "Christmas" as a holiday on December 25th, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Perhaps it is time for us to get back to basics, the basics of love for our fellow man. Instead of showering people with a never-ending supply of material gifts, we can start using some of the spiritual gifts we received from Christ — gifts of talent, time, teaching, and serving others.
Prayer: Dear Lord, as the day celebrating the birthday of the great gift of your Son draws near, help us to be as careful in giving gifts to our children as you were in bestowing your many gifts on us. Help us as parents, shopkeepers, politicians, and, yes, even some of us as churches, to put Christ back into Christmas. In Jesus' name. Amen.