My kids have been adding steadily, week after week, to their Christmas lists. They know they’ll only get a few things from those lists, but they’re so excited about getting.
Did you cringe when you read that? I cringed writing it. I wonder how I might defend myself as a good mother, how I can convince you I am teaching my children to be generous, how I can prove my kids aren’t really that into presents (gasp). I wouldn’t want you to think they are normal kids. Or that I am encouraging them to be normal kids.
Shouldn’t I write a devotion about how we’re giving up gifts this year or how we’ve come up with creative ways to focus on the spiritual aspects of Christmas?
I appreciate articles like that, and they offer me great tips. But the truth is the Bible doesn’t present Jesus’s birth as a time for us to give. It presents it as a time for us to get.
We who were in darkness get light.
We who are sinners get forgiveness.
We who have hated get love.
We who were banished get acceptance.
We who were captive get freedom.
We who were abandoned get adoption.
We who were enemies get friendship.
We who were desperate get hope.
We who were lonely get belonging.
We who were dead get life.
We celebrate the birth of a baby at Christmas. That baby grew up to pray this prayer shortly before he died on a cross for us:
“For you granted [the Son] authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. […] Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.
Ultimately, we get Jesus. We get God Himself, dwelling among us. We get to know Him, to be in relationship with Him, to love and to be loved by Him. If you don’t have that kind of relationship with God, please read this. If you do have that relationship, give thanks for all that you have been given!
At my house this Christmas, there will be a lot of joy in getting. The lesser gifts will point to the greater ones as we remind each other of all that we get in Jesus. Because Christmas, after all, is about getting.
What are you joyful about getting this Christmas? Leave a comment below.
Know someone who would be encouraged by this? Please share!
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