THE GIFTS OF CHRISTMAS! The Wisemen brought gifts to celebrate the birth of Jesus as a long awaited King! And out of that I suppose the tradition is continued in a way today but usually with us giving gifts to one another. But I think Vance Havner touched on the real meaning of gifts at Christmas when he said this, “Christmas is based on an exchange of gifts, the gift of God to man – His unspeakable gift of His Son, and the gift of man to God – when we present our bodies a living sacrifice.” This exchange of gifts should affect every Christian on a daily basis and not just once a year.
When we stop to think about the miracle of Christmas it is almost beyond our comprehension and certainly challenges us concerning the depth of mystery involved in this great event. Augustine, one of the early church Fathers (leaders) expressed his thoughts in this manner, “He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy. He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.” And yet when you read about the Christmas events in Matthew chapters 1&2 and in Luke chapters 1&2 God has revealed to us in the simplest of terms how things have transpired to bring God’s salvation to fallen and lost mankind.
It is almost amazing that in America, where God’s blessings on our nation are so evident and where our forefathers looked to the almighty God for His help, blessing, and direction, that so many in our nation now forget AND even encourage the absence of recognition of the loving God who has bestowed on us so many blessings. Former President Ronald Reagan once said, “Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.” Let us remember the gifts of Christmas, both God’s gift to us and our gift to Him. And let us marvel at the greatness and mystery of His gift and let us present our bodies fresh and anew to His worship and service.