Songs of the Christmas season say we should feel wonderful, jolly, merry and bright. But instead we often feel stressed, stretched, buried, and exhausted. It is easy to get caught up in the rush and forget that we cannot give from an empty reservoir of time, energy, and warmth.
Stop for a second and remember why we celebrate Christmas. It is not about gifts, parties, concerts, decorations, lights, trees, or cards and letters. It is not even about family traditions and gatherings. Christmas is about Jesus, the celebration of His birth and the hope, peace, and joy that He brought to earth. Consider His words on this:
“…I came to bring them life, and far more life than before. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd will give his life for the sake of his sheep.” (John 10:10, PHILLILPS)
Jesus brought us far more life. Not far busier life or far more exhausted life. He brought us far richer life and far deeper life. He gave up His life so we could have far more life.
Here are some of the gifts Jesus has given us:
- Forgiveness. “But it was because of our rebellious deeds that he was pierced and because of our sins that he was crushed. He endured the punishment that made us completely whole, and in his wounding we found our healing.” (Isaiah 53:5, NLT)
- Love. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (I John 4:10, NIV)
- Joy. “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” (Acts 2:28, NIV)
- Peace. “Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1, NCV)
- Patience. “…We are together in Jesus, and we share these things: suffering, the kingdom, and patient endurance…” (Revelation 1:9, ERV)
- Kindness. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32, NIV)
- Goodness. “…We ask our God to help you live the good way he wanted when he chose you. The goodness you have makes you want to do good.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11, ERV)
- Faithfulness. “The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes.” (2 Corinthians 5:7, VOICE)
- Gentleness. “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5, NIV)
- Self-Control. “We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life.” (Titus 2:12, MSG)
- Hope. “I pray that God will open your minds to see his truth. Then you will know the hope that he has chosen us to have. You will know that the blessings God has promised his holy people are rich and glorious.” (Ephesians 1:18, ERV)
The gifts Jesus offers us are not wrapped and waiting under the tree. Through the Holy Spirit, these gifts are alive and active inside the hearts of God’s daughters. These gifts will not break or get lost or stolen. They are guaranteed to be yours forever! And they will never wear out; in fact, the more consistently you use them, the stronger they grow. Forgive quickly and respond with kindness when others offend you this week. Prayerfully choose gifts that express love rather than obligation. Let the music fill you with joy and hope as you reflect on the meaning of Christ the Messiah coming to earth. Rest in peace as you enjoy the beauty and calmness of the season’s lights.
Focusing on God’s gifts — and sharing them with those around us — enables us to feel wonderful, jolly, merry, and bright, even during the busy season of Christmas. Unwrap them today and begin savoring those that are most meaningful. Let these gifts fulfill you and add far more life to your day…and every day ahead!
What song lyric or phrase describes you during the Christmas season?
What aspect of Christmas is most important to you? Does this add to or detract from your celebration of Jesus?
Which of the gifts listed is most meaningful to you today? What will help you remember to savor it during this busy month?
Enjoy far more life as you celebrate Jesus’ work inside your heart this week!
Copyright 2019-20, Shari Damaso