“Look what I got for Christmas!” she exclaimed. “See my new smart phone. See my new coat. See my new whiz-bang-whatchamadoddle!”
The new gizmo excited her so she wanted to tell her friends. Or was she bragging because her stuff cost more than their stuff?
Does receiving a gift give us the right to brag? After all, these are gifts. Gifts are given whether you deserve them or not. Right?
Or does the receiving of the gift depend on whether you’ve been “naughty or nice” as the famous song goes. The implication is that if you are nice, then you get gifts, but if you are naughty, you don’t get gifts.
Our Christmas traditions of Santa Claus are fun with our kids and grandkids, but really work just the opposite of the gospel.
The gospel says we’ve all been naughty, no one is nice. We are so naughty we deserve the worst of punishments. We have all disobeyed with a rebellious heart the loving Creator and holy God of the universe!
So the true Christmas meaning is that the Son of God was born to become God’s GIFT of salvation and forgiveness.
We are totally undeserving. There’s nothing we can do to earn this gift. We don’t get it by being nice.
It is a gift in the truest sense of the word. Only by a pure act of God’s grace do we receive this gift of salvation.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT
For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV
Our Father, our appreciation for sending your Son Jesus on that first Christmas cannot be expressed fully by our words. So look into our hearts and see the humble gratitude for the greatest gift of all. We praise you and you alone for providing what we did not deserve and could not provide for ourselves.