christmas-giftsAs we are waiting on Christmas and for the gifts to arrive, I pray that we will remember that the Gift of God, His Son, is already here – as He reigns over the hearts of men, women and children. How do we break free of the American Dream’s commercialization and really, really see each gift – including His – for what it represents? Perhaps it would be good to intentionally draw a contrast between the value of the gift we hold in our hand and the value of the Savior that has taken residence in our hearts. And…perhaps there is more.

Christmas has lost its meaning because the American Dream and its trappings (an interesting word) have won the hearts of the people of God. We all know this is true; most of us will say it to at least one person over the next couple of months. But, are we people of words only? Words are hypocritical if they are not followed by action. I encourage you to consider how you might make Christmas what God intended it to be. Let’s move away from the intentions of man – even those well intentioned men that want us to enjoy an American Dream Christmas along side the Christmas of our King – and offer the love of our King to those in need.

Please don’t ask me what I want for Christmas. Christmas should not be about what we want, but about what we need – a humble Savior. I have every physical thing I need; or the resources to purchase it. There are millions of people, from your neighborhood to the far reaches of the globe, who need the basic essentials of life more than any thing I want. I’m sorry to bring this to your attention, but I just cannot get it out of my mind. Is it just me? Am I missing something?

I am struggling with this as much as anyone – so much joy seems to be wrapped up in the giving and receiving. How do you tell someone not to give you something? Will they be offended? And what about the gift they are expecting from you? How will they know you love them? Wow, I am stunned by the revelation of these questions. Who is this about? Who should we be concerned about offending? How will the King know we love Him on His birthday? Isn’t there something in the Bible about doing for the least of these?

In closing, let me create a word picture for you. Imagine sitting in front of your Christmas tree. You look under the tree and find no gifts. At first, you are saddened, but then you remember; and patting the place where your heart is, you say to yourself, “The Gift is here.” Now, imagine doing that for every gift you anticipated this Christmas; and the Holy Spirit stirring inside of you with the love of that truth. Boy, what a Joy-filled Christmas we would have.

Looking to the Reason for this Season (and every other),