The time is upon us to give reflection to the meaning of Christmas. For most people, it is a time of gifts, celebration, family and generally having fun. There is nothing wrong with these things. They are part of life and I firmly believe we are supposed to enjoy life. My God has never said He wants us to be miserable, so why should we … ok that is a rhetorical question and it doesn’t really need answering, but some people seem to think that Christmas with presents, food, and fun is being irreverent to the Christian meaning of this time of year.
Of course as a family, we have not spent any more or less on Christmas this year than last. I know that with the economy in an uproar many people are cutting back, particularly with the uncertainty in their employment status. However, we seldom buy gifts at Christmas anyway, electing instead to help with food baskets for local families who are having a difficult time. Last year, this program delivered over 50 baskets to needy families. This year there are already commitments for at least 65 and it is quite possible there will be as many as 80 families helped this Christmas.
To me the joy comes from the giving, and not some trinket or electronic device that your child or significant other desires to have. This joy is much better. It is the joy that comes from within – from seeing the faces of those whose lives are directly affected by the generosity of a complete stranger. This isn’t unlike what Christ did for us. As a stranger in His own land, He gave the gift of eternal life to those who would hear His word and believe.
For me, Christmas doesn’t hold the wonder it once did, instead, my wonder has changed to reverence for the true meaning of Christmas. The gifts I give, although they pale in comparison, is my way of emulating my Lord. I have been asked so many times about being taken advantage of – people getting help who don’t really need it. Of course to decipher it all out and help only those who really need it is daunting, but failing to help those for fear someone may be taking advantage of the situation, doesn’t seem right. In Genesis 18, the Lord was speaking to Abraham and told him that if there were but ten deserving people in the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah that He would spare them all … for the sake of the ten. Isn’t that what Christmas is about? We help those, as our Lord helped us, and don’t dwell on the wickedness for the sake of those we help. Sure we get taken advantage of, but if we can help just ten families out of the thousands in our town, then I believe it is worth it.
Christ gave everything He had … He wrote the ultimate blank check … and gave His life that we might keep ours. The fact that millions in this world rejected Him, doesn’t negate His generosity to those He has saved. Perhaps it is time we stopped thinking about the negative aspects of helping others and focus on the positive outcomes and those whose lives will be forever changed by a simple, seemingly insignificant act of kindness and generosity.
I am proud to have Christ in my Christmas – Perhaps it is time the rest of the world let Him in as well.