God has given us many gifts. Life is a gift. Salvation is an even greater gift. Wisdom and health are gifts. The world we live in is a gift. It is our Father’s world. Yet John 3:16 speaks of a more indescribable gift. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” God gave his only begotten Son. It is this gift that we celebrate at Christmas.
James says: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). This applies to the gift of the Son as well. First, He is from above. Jesus told his listeners: “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world . . . I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:32-35).
Secondly, He is the perfect gift. “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12). As the perfect gift, He gives us the gift to become the children of God. How? See 1 John 1:9 for the answer. Thirdly, He is the light of the world (John 8:12). Fourthly, as in the Father, there is also no variation or shadow of turning in the Son. The Bible asserts: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Someone took a video of his two year old daughter opening her birthday present. The little girl was excited about the wrapping paper and the ribbon. She tore at it and had great fun opening it, removing the paper and ribbon. But when she came to the box inside the wrapping, she wanted to get up and go off and play. “No, no, open the box!” She wasn’t interested; the fun was in the process and playing with the paper. Finally, they got her to look inside the box, which was the essence of the present.
How often people do the same thing with Christmas. It is to celebrate our Savior’s birth. But it is wrapped with the decorations of Christmas cards and Christmas trees, pretty lights, shopping malls and the hustle and bustle of the season. That is the wrapping. But the perfect gift is Jesus Christ, who came to be your personal Savior. Accept His gift this Christmas and do not just concern yourself with the outward tinsel.
Christmas is more than the tinsel. How often legends and fantasies displace that which is real. Some children know only about Santa Claus, and the make-believe stories people have made up about Christmas, rather than the real reason for the season. We know that Jesus is the reason for the season. That is the essence of the perfect gift. Do you know Him? He wants to be your Savior. The Christmas season will soon be over again. The lights will be put away. The decorations will be taken down. Only if we have experienced Him, will we have something that will last and not pass away.
Jesus came into a cruel world. There was no room for him in the inn. He told His disciples: “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33). In Bethlehem, at the time when Jesus was born there were many things that were not in keeping with the idyllic presupposed dream that people often associate with Christmas. The same is true today. There are many that are finding this Christmas season difficult. The trauma of the past year may still be weighing them down. Worries about the future, heartaches, or shattered hopes may numb the feeling of celebration. If we find Christmas difficult, Jesus invites us and says: “Come unto Me all that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:29). Paul says, “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God, and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). This is also a gift of God. These gifts are for you and not just for the Christmas season. Receive them and do not be content with the tinsel of the season.