CHRISTMAS IS FOR-GIVING

Christmas is for giving! This sentiment fills the airways and is drummed into our neurons in every way conceivable this time of year. The message is everywhere. We hear it in the music wherever we go. We see it in the Hallmark movies playing 24/7. The message is shouted at us by the incessant Christmas ads declaring that Christmas will not be Christmas unless we buy this sweater, electronic device, or gift basket. Don’t get me wrong, I love gifts. I love to give gifts. I love to get gifts. You can’t see the bottom third of our tree because of the pile of packages that lay waiting for our family to arrive for the holidays. Christmas is for giving.

And it is!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…” Christmas celebrates God giving the greatest gift ever—His Son, Jesus. The Magi brought incredible gifts to Jesus at His birth. Christmas is for giving.

Christmas is for giving because Christmas is Forgiving.

The message of Christmas is the message of forgiveness. In the Garden of Eden, when man sinned, not only did man lose a lot, but God lost a lot. We lost the relationship we were designed to have with God. God lost the glory we were designed to give Him. God said “I want my children back and I want my glory back. But there is a problem.  There is a sin debt that man could never settle. Jesus, is there something that you’re willing to do about this?” Jesus said, “Yes Dad, I have more than enough righteousness in my account to cover their debt.” With this, the eternal forgiveness plan of heaven was set in motion.

The plan was simple. God, the violated One, sent his Son, the Righteous One, into the world to be born of a virgin in order to sacrifice His life to pay in full the sin debt of the violating ones. The Just One died in place of the unjust ones, thus establishing the way to peace. This includes us. This includes everyone else too! Indeed, Christmas is forgiving.

At the first Christmas, God gave Grace to the world and called us to give grace to our world. Forgiveness is why Jesus came into the world. Forgiveness is why we were left in the world. We are called to forgive every wound we’ve ever suffered. Why? Because the blood of Jesus covers all sin… including the ones committed against me, and you.

We must forgive…

our father for abandoning our family
our mother for making us feel like we never measured up
our uncle for molesting us as a child
our spouse for cheating on us
our employer for passing us over for that promotion or for firing us
our… you fill in the blank...

Christmas is for giving because Christmas is forgiving.

“Joy to the world” and “Peace on earth” can only be experienced because Jesus came to make forgiveness possible by His death on the cross. We experience that Joy and Peace only when we honor His sacrifice by applying the blood of Jesus to every wound we ever have or will suffer.

So be generous in your gift giving at Christmas. Go all out! But make sure the top of your list includes forgiveness. It’s the gift we give to someone else that brings us peace.  

Christmas is Forgiving!

Merry Christmas,
Bruce and Toni

Amy Smithwick