It really is almost Christmas. With midterms this past week, I don’t think I’ve spent more than five minutes thinking about the birth of Jesus. Yesterday when my Spanish class all finished taking our test, my friend said, “I’m so glad it’s finally Christmas Break,” and I realized that it was only five days away. I knew it was close, but I’d been so busy trying to remember how to conjugate “to bring” in Spanish in the past tense and the symbolism in “The Sun Also Rises” that I hadn’t considered that it was really that close. I read the story from Luke 2 this morning; my heart was once again filled with the spirit of Christmas.
“To YOU is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”
This savior was born to all of us. Not just to a select few. The first Christmas gift that any of us ever received was Christ. A lot of people like to talk about how Christmas isn’t about the gifts and how we often miss the entire point. I think that in trying to not miss the point, we often find ourselves missing the point. No, Christmas isn’t about getting the newest iPhone or the latest toy. But it is about the gifts. More so the giving of gifts but the receiving of them as well. The gift of joy. The gift of peace. The gift of faith. The gift of hope. The gift of Christ. Because He was a gift. He wasn’t compensation for anything amazing humanity did; we didn’t deserve Him at all. He was a gift, graciously given by our loving Father. He gave us this baby that would grow to give rest to all those who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, this baby who would prove His endless love for us by laying down His life. And I can’t get over how God didn’t just give us the gift of His Son. He gave us gifts within the gift. The gift of grace, the gift of love.
I’ve decided that the “Christmas spirit” is more like the Christ spirit. It inspires us to do things that Jesus did-feed the hungry, forgive the guilty, care for the sick, welcome the unwanted, and love the entire world. It inspires us to give gifts, the same way that God has given them to us. Mary isn’t the only one who has a gift inside of her. Christ is inside me, too, along with all the gifts that stem from Him, and I have the ability to give those gifts to others.
I pray that you receive countless gifts of grace, hope, and joy this year. And I pray that we all give gifts of love. Because in doing so, we’re giving the best gift of all, the gift of Christ.
1 Corinthians 16:23-24,