I wanted to take just a moment to wish you a very Merry Christmas this morning!
I hope you've slept a little late, found a nice cup of hot chocolate or coffee, and are daring to spend the morning in your pajamas! By the time you read this, I'll have been up for a while watching stars dance in the eyes of my children, and hopefully in the eyes of my bride, and talking about the reason we give gifts at Christmas time. It's been a subject for us all month, it seems, and the cool thing is that the kids really seem to get it pretty easily.
Have you thought about that lately? Why do we give and receive gifts at Christmas time? Did some anti-Jesus fellow plant that movement just to distract us from the "real" meaning of Christmas?
Actually, its very glorifying to God that we give gifts to one another in commemoration of both the gift of God in Christ to us, and in memory of the gifts of the Magi to Jesus.
In the letter to the church at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul tells us, "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." (Ephesians 5:1-2, NASB)
You see, when we imitate the actions of love with which God acts toward us, we walk in obedience to His will. We give gifts, then, to remind us of how God acts in love towards us. The key is that we don't forget the why behind the what.
This morning, in whatever context you find yourself, remember to copy and paste the love of God into your home. Let the hot chocolate and coffee remind you of the warmth and welcome of the forgiveness of Christ in His grace; let the gifts you give remind you of the gratitude we should live within responding to the amazing gift of God in Christ; let the relationships you foster reflect the love you find in Christ every day as we walk in relationship with Him.
Merry Christmas... and may the peace of Christ which passes all understand invade, overtake, and contour every part of your day!